11 Oct Is your speech preventing you from connecting with your audience!
The Washington Examiner featured an article back in April where Former Vice President Walter Mondale said on CNN that President Obama relies too much on teleprompters — which Mondale called “idiot boards” — when speaking to the American people.
The point for us ‘average’ people to glean from this article is the importance of ‘connecting’ with the people who are there to hear what we think about something in our business presentation. It’s important to remember that the purpose of a business presentation is to shift our audience from where they are on arrival to where we want them to be on our departure. It’s much easier to do that if you’re actually looking at the people listening and really connecting with them as fellow humans in your audience. If you’re senior and have the chance to use a teleprompter and really feel you must – then rehearse and rehearse so that you are able to really look at your audience for most of your presentation. If you more regularly present in smaller meetings then be careful not to write out a ‘script’ and just read that out to people. It’s boring and lacks credibility when someone reads their speech to us. The alternative is to consider learning how to Storyboard a presentation – Storyboarding is part of the repertoire of an excellent presentation skills training program. It’s the trick excellent presenters use to brainstorm all their content, then sort it, then recall it without notes and it really works – even for people who think they have a dreadful memory and are nervous presenters! For more info read Chapter 4 in Don’t Picture me Naked – you can buy the book here. Storyboarding allows you to present so you truly connect with your audience through complete eye contact so you are much more likely to get what you want from the interaction.