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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