If you read my blog post Lessons from the Jungle Cruise, you know that back in my college days I was a Disneyland Jungle Cruise Skipper. I wore the safari hat, shot the gun to scare away faux hippos, and made “the backside of water” water joke more times than I can count.
If you think that sounds like an extraordinarily fun college job, you’re right – it most definitely was. And if you think delivering the same presentation over and over again can get boring and monotonous, you’re right...it can, IF you let it.
It's déjà vu all over again.
Many roles in business require a person to give essentially the same presentation over and over again.
- Sales engineers might have to do the same product demo time and again.
- HR professionals might have to give the same talk at every single new employee orientation.
- Senior executives may have to deliver the same vision speech to every unit in their organization.
I face those same repetition challenges in my work at Mandel. And, unless you're careful, your content and delivery can get a little crusty.
Presentations can go stale.
After repetitive deliveries, most presenters get much more comfortable with their content. Tough questions from the audience that may have caused anxiety early on, become predictable and, as a result, less stressful. That’s the good news.
The bad news is that the adrenaline rush that the act of presenting triggers also diminishes, often resulting in a delivery that lacks energy. Many presenters appear to lose interest in their own content, resulting in a lack of credibility boosting conviction. And responses to tough questions can sound so rote that the audience starts to feel like they're not being heard.
The bottom line? If you sound bored giving your presentation, you can be 100% certain that your audience will be bored with your presentation, too.
Keep it fresh.
The wise folks who run the show at Disneyland knew that the long-term success of attractions, like the Jungle Cruise, depended on Cast Members (Disney’s term for employees) like me to keep it fresh for their guests.
Here’s a mindset that I was taught on the Jungle Cruise that you can use to keep things fresh when you have to give the same presentation over and over again.
- You may be presenting your content for the 100th time, but your audience is hearing it for the first time.
- You may be hearing a question for the 100th time, but your audience member is asking it for the first time.
- You can change it up and use ad libs to keep yourself interested, but don’t lose the structure and intent of the presentation — and never lose respect for your audience when doing so.
Want to see it in action? Watch a Skipper keeping it fresh on the World Famous Jungle Cruise.
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Read the blog and learn how to make your next team offsite your most productive yet.
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Admittedly, I've struggled to find a reliable way to help people reduce their public speaking anxiety, despite years of trying. I’ve advised people to do just about anything I could think of that might help, e.g., breathing, meditation. While I haven't found the thing that works every time for every person, there is one technique that seems to be more effective than most. Even if you've already found something that works well for you, this technique is worth trying out.
Imagine being asked to present to your entire company tomorrow. Does the idea of it make you nervous? You might be tempted to get right to work, writing every word down and committing them to memory. Now, what if I said you couldn’t memorize your talk? Whoa, wait a minute. You wonder, “How am I supposed to remember what to say?”
Find out why memorizing is a terrible idea and what you should do instead to prepare for your next presentation.
Be sure to set your speakers up for success. Read this week's blog to find out how.
Executive briefings. Big sales meetings. Project pitch meetings. What do they have in common? The stakes are sky high. There’s a lot riding on them for you and your company — revenue, reputation, productivity. Do your people have, both, the presentation AND facilitation skills to ensure their success?
Read the blog to find out and to get your free Discussion Leader Self-Assessment Tool and Facilitator Checklist.
Memory almost full. Imagine that warning flashing brightly on the forehead of every audience member. A successful presentation isn’t just about the speaker’s dynamic energy or their confident manner in front of an audience. Without compelling, easy to follow content, it doesn’t matter how comfortable you are in the spotlight. You and your topic will quickly be forgotten. So how do you ensure lasting, memorable impact? Learn how to be remembered by leveraging the ancient, globally relevant, and scientifically proven rule of three to focus your content, motivate your listeners, and make your executive presence shine.
Why is it so difficult to be your best self in front of an audience? And what can you do to change that? Turns out, there is more within your control than you think. This week, experience a personal coaching session with 10 of the most powerful dos and don’ts that you can implement right now to have an immediate impact on your performance. Along with this seasoned advice, discover detailed examples and the science behind what it takes to show your most authentic self.
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