Where is your presentation content? Is it in your script? Your notes? Memorized in your head? In your boss’s head? On the PowerPoint slide? Yikes!
For you to feel comfortable and to connect with your audience, you have to speak from your heart, not your head. This idea holds true even for technical info. True story: One day, we heard a presenter who was hot about building codes speak from her heart to a standing ovation! She set that audience on fire! Your story must live inside you – in your gut. Sounds easy, right? So, what’s the problem?
Trust. In business presentations, we don’t trust that speaking from our hearts is enough.
Don’t we think, “I don’t want to forget my points. I have to deliver the content I’m supposed to. I want to look professional”?
These thoughts cause us to try to remember our points, so we look for cues for our stories outside of us. We read from physical notes or PowerPoint slides, or we picture those notes in our heads and try to remember what we are “supposed to say.” Sound familiar?
What to do?
• When practicing, if you struggle “trying to remember,” lose your notes. Every fiber of your being will tell you not to do that. But trust and try it. You’ll quickly start visualizing your story, and it will flow right out of you! Once you get comfortable doing that…
• Create short bulleted notes on a piece of paper and put them on the table. Then if you forget – no problem! Trust. Check your next bullet. Then look inside yourself, visualize the story that goes with that bullet, and speak.
• Trust. No one knows what you planned. If you forget something important, your fellow presenters have your back.
Bottom line — trust that your story lives inside you. When we speak from our hearts, we are real, and our real heart, passion and ideas are what connect with other humans.