The second of the Three Keys, Performance, offers you a chance to blend substance and style into a convincing speaking combination. Performance is much more than a matter of simply reciting a speech.
To cultivate a receptive audience, you must be interesting to watch and listen to. Think of the speakers you have seen who had Grade A content but put people to sleep because they droned on in monotone or stood stiffly behind a podium.
Perhaps the vice president who heads your division at work fits this description. Or maybe the president of the non-profit board on which you serve comes to mind. I can even think of a college professor or two who had stimulating ideas, but spoke in voices so disinteresting they became famous for putting students to sleep.
Your performance—both verbal and nonverbal—creates a positive setting designed to boost audience attention.
The Third Key – Assessing Feedback
Let’s move on to third of the Three Keys to Great Presentations, Assessing Feedback. This is the one that most presenters ignore. Do so at your own peril.
It is difficult if not impossible to succeed if you do not evaluate how you perform. Better speakers get better results, whether your goal is to climb the corporate ladder, win that new client, or champion an environmental cause.
It is my observation that most speakers pay so much attention to drafting their remarks and delivering them, they fail to find ways to gauge how they did. The tendency is to spend a disproportionate share of time writing and making their slides snappy (remember, make a conscious decision whether or not to use slides; never default to using them in every situation). Practice comes in a distant second. Often, assessing feedback is not even on the radar screen. It needs to be, for assessing feedback is a key to professional development and career advancement.
The most basic instrument most speakers use to assess their performance is an evaluation form. By all means, use one, but don’t make it the only measurement you take.
Accomplished presenters employ a bounty of methods for measuring feedback that go beyond the evaluation form: Real-time feedback, advice from trusted colleagues in the audience, and contacting the meeting organizer for her insights, to cite just a few.
Three Keys Work in Harmony
Preparation, Performance, and Assessing Feedback—the Three Keys to Great Presentations. Is one more important than the others?
Each of these keys is vital to your success as a speaker. In addition, they must work in combination, harmonizing with one another if you are to gain maximum advantage.
Think of it this way: Your car needs gas, oil, and water to run. Forget to fill up the gas tank and you will soon hear the sputter of your engine choking to a stop. Neglect to change your oil and you will lurch to a stop when your engine seizes up. Fail to add water and it won’t be long until the billows of white smoke pour out from under your hood. If you neglect to use any of those necessities, your car isn’t going anywhere.
Similarly, if you do not heed each of the Three Keys to Great Presentations, you are sure to encounter a roadblock on the path to speaking success.
This straightforward speaking system shows you how to succeed when you deliver your next presentation. You will sharpen not only what you say, but of equal importance, how you say it. The Three Keys give you a way to get your audience involved and on your side.