Does it ever strike you as odd that something is undeniably important as giving a great presentation – I mean if you think about it almost everything of consequence in business happens on the other side of one- is so overlooked by most professionals as a foundational skill?

And I’m being polite here. The standard of the average presenter is so unbelievably low that if the standards for learning to swim were the same as the standards for learning to present… we’d drown! For some reason though, this is something that we have come to accept. The MVP (minimum viable presentation) just, well, isn’t.

So why is this? Well, I’ve got a feeling it’s to do with how we think about presentations in the first place. So often people come to as a Missing Link and the phrase they use is, “I need your help as I have to give a presentation”. I have to. It’s like it’s a grudge purchase. The first thing I always try to save them is, “No. No… you get to give a presentation!”

They then give me that look of,

“WAIT… WHAT?”

Yes, you get to give a presentation. Presentation is a privilege! You’ve been asked to share the ideas inside your head with the other humans, how amazing. Congratulations. This is fantastic, well done.

Then they try to explain that no it’s not like that, this is just an internal presentation…. and I stop them mid-sentence because of course that’s exactly what it’s like. It is always a privilege. The fact that you have been selected to deliver a presentation is always an honor and all you need to do is understand that and you will change your mindset. You see if we can change how we perceive presentations then we will change how we deliver presentations. If you see delivering a presentation as a grudge purchase, well then you don’t really care. It’s something you have to get done, something you have to go through the motions of and get out the gate. It’s a chore.

Oh, and just by the way, this mindset shift from “I have to” to “I get to” works in almost every instance that you find yourself saying it. If you can simply reframe a task to something that you get to do (there’s always a positive reason) you will be a whole lot happier – and so will your kids, tell them too 🙂

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