An effective presentation is now a vital aspect of professional life. Generally, a presentation can be grouped into three categories:
- Informational Presentation – An information-driven presentation is delivered to update customers, suppliers, investors, sellers, and owners.
- Pedagogical Presentation - A learning-oriented presentation is conducted to enhance knowledge/skills of all participants.
- Persuasive Presentation – A motivation-driven presentation is arranged to enhance execution vigor or cooperative feelings among participants or team members.
An effective presentation needs positive, focus and confident mindset and poised behavior. Suppose you are going for some presentation. There is three steps roadmap towards positive/focus/confident mindset and poised behavior – Thought Awareness, Rational Limitation, and Self Suggestions.
Step – I (Thought Awareness)
There are some typical negative thoughts you might experience about presentation:
- Fear about the quality of performance, technical problems that may come up, and harsh criticism;
- Worry about the reaction of peers, general audience, and stakeholders;
- Doubt on real strengths / potential opportunities,
- Visualizing the negative consequences of a poor performance;
- Self-criticism over less than perfect preparation, rehearsal and practice,
- Frustration or Anger on certain real inadequacies or deficiencies.
These negative thoughts/negativity traps can disturb focus, damage confidence, harm performance, paralyze mental skills, and radiate negativity.
Step – II (Rational Limitations)
In rational limitation process you challenge the negative thoughts and counter them with rationality. Looking at some of the examples, the following challenges could be made to these common negative thoughts:
- Quality of Performance: Have you gathered the information you need and prepared it properly for the event? Have you conducted a reasonable number of rehearsals, real or mental? If so, you’ve done as much as you can to give a good performance.
- Technical Problems and Issues Outside your Control: The key to develop a rational limitation for successful presentation on technical problems is to realize that you cannot control all relevant factors in your presentation that may create a distraction. While you can control your own behavior or your professional response, you cannot control traffic jams, airline delays, power shutdown, computer network outrage, and communication problems due to damaged equipment. However, it is important to consider the possible risks and necessary steps to mitigate their effects on presentation.
- Fear About Harsh Criticism / Worry About Other People’s Reaction: If you perform the best you can, then you have given a good performance, fair people are likely to respond well. If people are not fair, then the best thing is to ignore them and rise above any unfair comments.
- Problems During Practice: If some of your practices were less than perfect, then remind yourself that the purpose of practice is to identify problems so that they will not be repeated during the performance. Similarly, ask yourself whether it is reasonable to expect perfect performance. All that is important is effective or great performance not perfect.
Step – III (Self Suggestions)
By now, you would be more positive/focus/confident. The final step for effective presentation is to prepare self-suggestions to counter any remaining negativity or divergence. A few positive affirmations could be:
- Quality of Performance: “I have prepared well and have rehearsed thoroughly. I am ready to deliver an excellent presentation.”
- Problems of Distraction and Issues Outside your Control: “I have thought everything that might reasonably happen and have planned wisely how I can handle all likely contingencies. I am well equipped to react flexibly/firmly to any surprised situation.”
- Worry About other People’s Reaction: “Fair people will react reasonably to a well-prepared performance. I will rise above any unfair criticism in a mature and professional way.”