Wish you could be inspired, responsive, flexible, creative and spontaneous every time you present? Beats the alternative, right? Ever feel scripted, tight, canned, boring, or just stuck? Help!
Pull out your Buckets ‘o Stuff !
Audiences are dying to hear you talk about the things they care about. Those issues would be your “Buckets,” and in every bucket, you need some “Stuff.” So rather than memorizing a script, or saying the right words at a given time, develop stories. By story, I mean anything, from building codes to landscaping, that brings out your passion. Then, as you present, based on your research and what your audience is telling you that day, you can choose what stuff to share!
How do you develop great stuff that you’ll be comfortable sharing?
1. Choose from the heart. Select stories that speak to you. They should be personal, positive and full of passion! The stronger you feel (not think) about your story, the easier it is to deliver. And your passion will light a fire in your audience!
2. Sculpt with intention. As you develop your stories, include points that further the plot and bring your story to the conclusion. No extraneous details! With our short attention spans, we crave the “Cliff Notes” version. Make a simple, road map bullet list (your notes) for each story; it will help keep you on track.
3. Practice with abandon. Instead of starting at the beginning and going to the end, repeating the same words over and over again (BORING!), mix it up. Practice your buckets out of order. For instance, practice the last bucket first. Usually, you’re tired at the end of your rehearsal, but if you put that last bucket first, you’ll practice it with focus and energy. It works!
The result? On presentation day, you’re prepared, but now you’re able to listen to your audience and make adjustments because you’ve got your Buckets ‘o Stuff!
It’s all about practicing to be spontaneous. Crazy concept, right?
PS Oh yeah, use these same guidelines to prep for Q&A! Each person on your team should practice their own “Bucket ‘o Personal, Positive, Passionate Stuff Stories” that pertains to their role on the project.