Sunday, July 1, 2018

Do You Ramble When You Present? Here's How to Change That! by Bridgett McGowen

There is so much you want to cover and only so much time to do it. Subconsciously, you want your audience to fall as deeply in love with your topic as you are already in love with it. This tends to cause a problem.

But just a second … this is not to suggest there is something wrong with wanting your audience to find the same value in your content as you find in it. The challenge lies in this desire propelling you to share and share and share to the point you end up rambling, rambling, and rambling. By going off on tangents or losing your train of thought, you also lose your effectiveness and diminish your power with all of the spins and twirls and ups and downs and twists and turns you put in your message.

First, keep in mind that you are not there to create experts out of your listeners. Would that be awesome if you could? Absolutely! Is that realistic? Absolutely not.

Think of the number of hours, days, weeks, months, and even years or decades it took you to get where you are with your knowledge. As such, remember the time you have to present is limited; hence, the material you provide must be limited in quantity but not - you guessed it - quality. Give your audience the three biggest components that will spark a curiosity and give them just enough information so they can understand why you are so passionate.

Second, with those three big components, remember who is in your audience. Ask yourself …

  • What is the main takeaway?

  • How do I want to change everyone's beliefs and actions?

  • Why should this be important to everyone?
Commit to answer only those questions, and you stay on topic. (More practice with these three questions is available in Master Your Message: The Workbook.)

Next, rely on presentation software to keep you on track. Use slides with as few words as possible because there can never be anything on a slide more interesting or exciting than the words you speak. And as you design your slides, use a minimalistic approach where you provide a high-quality, high-impact graphic with only a few words on each slide. If you get off track, you can glance at your laptop or computer screen, and the image will refocus you.

Additionally, stop and listen to how much you're talking. If you have been talking for more than 10 to 15 minutes without getting input from the audience, then you've been talking too much and possibly rambling as a result.

Finally, pay attention to the audience's body language. Is the audience mentally and even physically checking-out by looking at watches, shifting in seats, thumbing through the handout you gave, engaging with their phones? All of these can be telltale signs that you're rambling and that it's time to change up things.

You've got this. Be seen. Be heard. Be great!

P.S. Check out the BMcTALKS Academy and my NEW online courses. Watch for new courses coming soon!

P.P.S Are you a professional woman who makes presentations as part of your job or business? Did you ever wish you could get personal and helpful guidance on improving your presentation skills? Get on the phone with me for a complimentary 45-minute call to learn how to start making your presentations amazing once and for all! Schedule your call here It’ll be the best 45 minutes you’ve ever spent working on your presentation skills. I guarantee it!

Learn more about Bridgett at BMcTALKS.
Twitter: @1bmctalks

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