– Dale Carnegie
Most of us can relate to Carnegie’s quote about three speeches. I would add a fourth category … the one you thought you gave.
When coaching clients on improving their presentation skills, we start by video recording the presentation they have prepared. When we review the video with them there are always surprises. There are always gaps between how the client thinks they came across and how they actually did. Some common gaps the video shows:
- Less vocal variation than they perceived.
- Gestures that are distracting and not supportive of the message.
- Being hard for the audience to understand; i.e. talking too fast and/or not articulating words.
- Not having a single unifying and memorable message.
Shorter messages are usually more memorable and sound smarter. Address what the audience needs/wants to know. Make PowerPoint (if used at all) a graphic support of your message and not center stage. The closer to a conversational delivery style you use, the more the audience will relate to what you are presenting. Make the speech you gave the same as the one you wish you gave.