Presentation Ready : Where To Find James Bond’s Confidence
Words by: Maryam Amiri
Think of someone who dazzled you from stage; their words mesmerizing, their gestures deliberate, they keep the audience on the edge of their seats. There was nothing theatrical or staged about their performance, it was refreshingly authentic. They stood tall and proud, and left you with a clear message that was only amplified by their charm.
That person could be you; but you might have a hard time imagining it.
The reason why many of us shy away from public speaking opportunities is that it is a high-risk high-reward activity. Do it right and it can increase your influence and sky-rocket your career. Fail and it hits you right where it hurts… your image and credibility.
As a professional in an increasing competitive workplace, you know you are technically sound, but may struggle with finding and carrying enough confidence to communicate your ideas and expertise.
Where can you find the effortless charm of James Bond to deliver a killer presentation with confidence?
The Three Sources of Confidence
- Knowing Your Audience
This is the Number One Rule of Public Speaking. No form of communication is successful if you don’t know who you are talking to, and public speaking is no different.
Your audience represents a unique demographic of genders, age groups and backgrounds that all determine how you ought to address them (essentially your tone), not to mention their relationship to you and your topic. For example, if you are an entrepreneur with one product to sell, the way you would present it to potential investors vs. potential customers should be tailored to the action you are seeking from each group. In this case it’s the investors believing in your product to make an investment, and the customers trusting your product to make a purchase.
Regardless of the action, your objective as a presenter is to win over your audience, and one of the most overseen ways is to simply ask them what they want to get out of the presentation. Do they want to be informed? Educated? Entertained? How much time can they spare? Do they like or disdain slides? Do they anticipate details to sink their teeth into? Once you have all the answers, you’d be amazed at how much confidence you will exude from simply delivering on the audience’s expectations.
- Mastering Your Content
There are only two reasons why humans communicate with each other; either to inform (with information) or influence (to take an action). When creating your content, ensure that there are clear messages and a clear call to action that the audience follows through with. Once you’ve created your content, master it as a creator would. Understand its depth and limitations, through and through. Become the subject matter expert.
On the other hand, memorizing your presentation verbatim is never a good idea because you depend on rigid word sequences and not flexible anchor points, and if you miss a beat by getting distracted or interrupted, then it becomes challenging to gracefully pick yourself up and move forwards.
- Rehearsing, Rehearsing And Rehearsing Some More
Beyoncé rehearsed 8 months for a two-hour performance at Coachella. Churchill rehearsed an hour for every minute he delivered a speech. And not only did Jobs rehearse weeks ahead of any product launch, but he spent two full days conducting full dress rehearsals on site.
If you don’t rehearse your presentation at least a dozen times out loud from start to finish, then is the best version of you really presenting on the day?