I’m about to begin Day 2 of one of my intensive 2-day Presentation Skills Training Sessions. These are for small groups — no more than 6 at a time. We spend some time on content development, and then most of the time on delivery issues. Such concerns as: eye contact; body movements and gestures; voice (volume, vocal variety, verbal punch – NEVER SPEAK IN A MONOTONE!); the kinds of things that can really lessen the impact of a presentation.
As I said to the group, we don’t really remember what a speaker does specifically that makes for a good presentation. We simply say/think “that was good, helpful, engaging.” But we sure seem to remember what makes for a bad, boring, ineffective prevention. “He was boring; I couldn’t hear her well; he spoke in such a monotone; he always spoke to the screen, not to us.”
But, here’s my observation as I enter Day 2. With this kind of training, each participant gives many “short” speeches, and we video tape them, critique each other, and I do some one-on-one critiquing and coaching as we watch the video together. And, today, I will emphasize specific issues that I know to emphasize because of what I observed yesterday, on Day 1.
In other words, I watch closely, I observe, I listen, I pay attention — and then, I make adjustments.
That’s pretty much the challenge in any endeavor, isn’t it? We plan, we map it out… and then, when plans hit the real world, we have to make adjustments. We don’t quite know what is needed until we start doing, and then, in the doing, we see the adjustments we need to make — and then, we make those adjustments.
We’ve got to be nimble!