So you’re about to make a presentation? Or about to do a teleclass. And you’re not feeling up to the mark. Last night the neighbour’s dog barked all night and now you’re feeling like it would be nice to snuggle back into bed.
But no. You’ve got a presentation to make. And you’re conscious that you’re not quite feeling 100%.
Which is just the point you make your first mistake…
You apologize to the audience
You apologise to the audience in advance. You tell them you had a rough night. And in one second, you’ve destroyed the perception of the audience.
You see, you may feel like hell, but the audience doesn’t know that you’ve come straight from Devil’s dome. They look at you, or hear your voice, and they don’t know any different. If you’re making a live presentation, they see someone who’s freshly showered, neat and ready to make a great presentation.
If you’re on the phone, they can see even less and they are looking for the upbeat energy in your voice. That’s all.
So don’t ever tell your audience how you feel.
Not at the end of your presentation.
Your job is to make the presentation with as much gusto and energy as possible.
And then get the audience to the next step–whatever that next step may be. (e.g. to buy a product/service)
Keep your sob story for the cafe
Yes the barking dog was a pain.
Yes you didn’t sleep well.
Yes you were presenting at 50% of your ability.
That sob story can be told to friends/spouses at the cafe later.
Don’t make the mistake of ever telling an audience, because as you tell them you’re working at 50%, they’ll automatically believe they got less value. You tell them about the dog barking–again, they’ll believe you’re half asleep. The more you apologise, the more your audience is going to magnify that apology into a factor of less value.
Tell your audience what they need to hear.
And then take your applause.
I was due to speak on a cruise liner going in from New Zealand to Australia. It was winter, and we ran into rough waters on the Tasman Sea. And I was due to speak to a franchise group at 10am. There was just one problem. I was throwing up my breakfast for one solid hour before I was due to speak. I’d eaten a plateful of oily stuff (bacon, sausages, eggs) and was sick and throwing up till 9:15am.
But when I was done, I dressed and went down to speak. And spoke for a good hour. With not a word about my state. I got the applause (and a great testimonial from the CEo). My sob story was told over the bar later that night.