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In presentation context, APOLOGIES are almost always unnecessary. NEVER APOLOGIZE for anything, except perhaps if you step on an audience member’s foot or if you have so much energy that your booming voice blasts in their ear. Even then, your APOLOGY should be framed positively… “I am sorry. I am so excited to be here, I nearly broke microphone!”
“PARDON ME,” AND OTHER LAME EXCUSES YOU HATE TO HEAR
EXCUSES are things we say to eliminate responsibility we have for our success (or lack there of it). Like APOLOGIES, EXCUSES tell your audience not to expect a lot from your presentation because you have very good reasons (i.e. EXCUSE) for not being able to deliver.
“I just found out about this presentation yesterday so I didn’t have much time to prepare,” is a common and frankly, over used, EXCUSE. Other then telling audience NOT to expect a lot from you because you aren’t prepared to deliver, what positive purpose does this EXCUSE serve?
Before you make another EXCUSE, remember what it feels like to be on receiving end of someone else’s excuses. If that doesn’t stop you, I don’t know what will!
“FORGIVE ME FOR I HAVE SINNED” AND OTHER CONFESSIONS TO AVOID
The CONFESSION is what happens when presenter tells audience something they have no business knowing. My favorite confession goes something like this…
“I’m really nervous today.”
The CONFESSION “I’m really nervous today” lets audience know right off bat that you will probably be a disappointment because you aren’t a very good presenter. It’s our strange attempt to set bar really low.
So why do we make CONFESSION? CONFESSING your nervousness to your audience lets you off hook for performing well! While audience may chuckle politely at your CONFESSION, many audience members stop listening carefully because they know that you are probably too “nervous” to meet their needs.
NEVER CONFESS to audience your nervousness and chances are, they will not know. Remember that while anxiety feels bad, truth is, it rarely shows. In fact, while you are worrying about your anxiety, audience is concentrating on your message and whether or not you are meeting their needs. I challenge you to live by vow, NO APOLOGIES, NO EXCUSSES, NO CONFESSIONS. Your audience will thank you!
For much more about this and other Presentation Secrets, check out book "15 Presentation Secrets: How to WOW Even Toughest Audience," by Debbie Bailey available at trainer2go.com/ebooks.html.
Debbie Bailey is author of the book "15 Presentation Secrets - How to WOW Even the Toughest Audience." She is well known for her life changing presentation skills classes. In addition to training at some of the most successful companies in Corporate America, Debbie has also taught Presentation Skills for United States Marines, San Diego State University, and UCLA Extension.