Making your presentation succeed

Over the last few years I’ve been lucky enough to conduct presentations as far flung as Russia, Iran and India. Great experiences they all were, but let me share a secret with you.

I was rather apprehensive about each one.

Why? The main cause of my apprehension was the audience – I didn’t know how they would react to my topic, my stories and humour.

This apprehension was a good thing because it spurred me into preparing so I sought out contacts who had spoken to the audiences before and researched the culture.

And to cap all that research, I used one of the oldest tricks in the book, which you can use too.

Vigorously visualising the whole presentation. I don’t mean just thinking about it, but energetically doing so. Using a little bit of NLP, I imagined what the stage looked like, the visual aids, the people, the room décor, the weather outside and I turned the imagination into a panoramic view and made it move in my head, just like a movie.

I listened to the sounds, the laughter, chatter amongst the people. The music, the ambient noise, the traffic outside.

I also imagined my own feelings inside my stomach of confidence and assuredness. Well I imagined good feelings didn’t I, since it was my mind.

And that’s the point. I made the whole thing up to be good, successful. Why not, after all, it’s my head and I can do what I like inside there, no one else will know.

The days leading up to my trip and presentations, I kept reliving the whole picture, the sounds and feelings and the big applause at the end.

Spookily, this made me feel a whole lot more in control and my Inner Game was working for me not against me and I enjoyed, thoroughly, the talks.

Did they happen like my imagination? Well you’ll have to talk to the Muscovites, the Indians and the Iranians about that!