Working in global organizations, one thing is certain. You will get evaluated on your performance. Are your presentation skills putting you at risk for getting poor scores?
A few weeks ago, giving a presentation skills training for a new team in a world-class company, I noticed a few participants hovering at the side. Turns out, they were worried about how they would be graded. (From 1 = poor to 5 = excellent is a big range…and your scores make a huge difference in getting ahead.)
Presentation anxiety can put the best presenter on edge. But if you are also fretting about how you will be evaluated, and what this could mean to your career path, everything escalates.
Negative thinking about your evaluation score quickly triggers a sub-optimal state of mind. In other words, you’re nervous, jumpy and off your game.
What can you do to turn things around?
In working with top executives, top performing sales professionals, and public speakers who demand their personal best in every setting, I’ll share a few pointers I’ve seen work wonders.
1. Picture Success
Visualize yourself giving an outstanding presentation. Show your story with pictures, examples and evidence. Connect with your audience. Get very specific in your visualization. Imagine people smiling, talking, and getting engaged. Hear the applause. See the top scores on your evaluations.
The more vivid your picture, the more you connect with the emotions of winning. A positive mental picture triggers a positive emotional state, which in turns ignites optimal performance.
2. Stretch With Continuous Learning
Constantly stretch your skills. Learn new ways to structure your story. Expand your ability to show ideas with hand-drawn sketches, whiteboard selling techniques, and effective slide design.
Rather than doing what you are familiar with all the time, grow your skills by learning something new. If time is short, learn new skills in online training. You are in charge of what you learn, and when you learn. This is the most convenient and effective way to build new presentation skills.
3. Speak To Friends
Picture your audience as a group of friends. Speak openly and conversationally, as you would to people you already know. If you don’t know a single person, just imagine that these are friends you are about to meet.
By speaking directly and openly, you’ll shift formal situations into open conversations. This is very effective and highly welcome in business settings.
Most people would much rather have an interesting and informative conversation, than sit through a dull, formal recitation.
4. Focus On Performance
Do your personal best every time you speak to individuals and groups. If you are speaking to a small group, ask for on-the-spot feedback and interaction. If addressing an audience in a conference or auditorium, simulate a conversation with a few key people in the group.
Focus on your performance in real time. Look for feedback so you can make adjustments to match your delivery to audience interest. If everyone wants to know about the latest technology advances, spend your time on this. Don’t go into the details of how you created the technology—focus on real-time performance.
By directing your attention on creating a lively presentation, you won’t distract yourself worrying about evaluation scores.
5. Get Personal Feedback
The best, world-class presenters started out with wobbly knees and a healthy dose of stage fright. But they got over it. How? Work with an executive coach to get candid, personal feedback. If you are serious about giving exceptional presentations and getting terrific scores, working with a coach should be at the top of your list.
The good news? Getting personal coaching is now much more affordable and convenient than ever before. With virtual coaching, you will get one-on-one complete attention and candid advice.
Bottom line? Focus on actions that will get you top scores. As we’ve just seen you can count them on your hand: positive attitude, continuous learning, peak performance, audience interaction, and personal coaching.
Stop worrying about your scores. Instead, pay attention to powerful presentation delivery.
Milly Sonneman is a recognized expert in visual language. She is the co-director of Presentation Storyboarding, a leading presentation training firm, and author of the popular guides: Beyond Words and Rainmaker Stories available on Amazon. Milly helps business professionals give winning presentations, through Email Marketing skills trainings at Presentation Storyboarding. You can find out more about our courses or contact Milly through our website at: http://www.presentationstoryboarding.com/