6 Premortem Questions for the Perfect Presentation

Premortem the perfect presentationWelcome to this edition of the Leadership AdvantEdge Podcast and my purpose this week is to help you confidently make your next meeting or presentation perfect, and not be anxious about it.

To do that, today, I’m going to share with you how to do a premortem on your meeting or presentation by asking yourself six questions. On the show notes, I’ll share a PDF and a Word template that you can download and use to plan your next presentation or meeting premortem and make it perfect.

I have a secret to share with you. I have a fear of public speaking. Not because I don’t like to be the centre of attention, I love that. No, it’s because I’m a bit of a perfectionist. I want everything to be just so, well, perfect. And because of that, every time I have to speak in public, whether in a small group or a large auditorium, I get anxious. Sometimes a little, sometimes a lot anxious. And I’m not alone.


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3 Tips for Being Heard

Why is it so difficult to make yourself heard?Why is it so difficult to make yourself heard?

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Brought to you by Dr John Kenworthy  

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Why is it so difficult to make yourself heard?

When you’re in IT, the chances are pretty high that you are quieter than your non-IT colleagues. You are probably more introverted than they are and you might even be regarded as being a little bit quiet.

Nothing wrong with being quiet. It has worked for you pretty well. But there comes a time when you need to be sure that your voice is heard

There are three things that you can do to make yourself heard

  1. Turn up the volume
  2. Slow Down
  3. Borrow my Confidence

Have you ever noticed how a Brit makes themselves understood in a foreign country? That’s right, they speak louder and enunciate more clearly. I said that they EEE NUN SEA ATE MORE CLEAR LEE.

Do you recall the last time that you were in a busy restaurant and there was one person whose voice could be heard across the room?

One of those loud, penetrating voices that cut through all the chatter

You couldn’t help but listen in and then you simply could not tune them out. You tried to focus on the person you were dining with, but that voice just took over.

Most people speak quietly. Softly. Almost inaudible. Even more so when they are feeling a little intimidated. Say, in a meeting with those more domineering Western style managers, all of whom seem to be vying for the attention seeking prize. It’s as if they all have neon signs flashing “look at me! Pat attention to me!” over their heads.

Then you get up to present your project update and suddenly everyone finds their phone so much more interesting.

When they get up to speak they’re brimming with confidence, and speak, up. You get up and speak normally, after all, there’s no need to SHOUT is there?

So tip number 1 is turn up the volume.

Volume in speaking comes entirely from the air in your lungs

More air means more volume. So you want to take deep great big lungfuls of the stuff. In through the nose and out through the mouth as you speak. Big deep breaths.

Now, you will notice that as you need to breathe in more deeply, that there is a pause in your speaking. It is impossible to speak as you breathe in. (Ok, some people can do circular breathing but you’re not one of them.)

As you breathe in you are pausing, not speaking

I want you to slow that down just a little more. Pause just slightly longer than you feel is comfortable. Now a little bit longer.

And now, as you speak, I’d like you to slow down some more. This is going to feel awkward for you. You think that it is too long and too slow. Not so. Very very few people pause too long and speak too slowly.

Those that you know who do, don’t their words just drip with wisdom?

Yes, they do. It’s considered thought. The chosen words are powerful and most importantly, you heard every single one of them.

So as you breathe in through your nose, breathe it deep into your belly and then let plenty of air cross your vocal chords as you speak from your diaphragm (right from that spot just under your ribs in the middle of your torso.

Think of speaking from that spot and sending your words to the back of the room and beyond.

Tip 2, I’ve already mentioned and that’s to slow down.

So as you speak with more volume from your diaphragm, halve the number of words per minute. You’ll be aching to speed up. Desperately thinking that this is way too slow. It’s not. It’s just right.

But I’m not used to this. I have a quiet voice. Always have. Nonsense! You yelled as loud as any baby demanding attention from your mum.

But when I get excited, I speed up and run out of breath

So do we all, if we don’t pay attention to our breathing and pace. Catch yourself and simply repeat what you said at half speed. Don’t worry, they probably didn’t hear what you said the first time anyway, so you won’t be repeating something they already heard.

Slow down some more.

Now stand with your head held high, your feet firmly planted on the floor

Your hands dropped straight down by the sides, breathe deep into your belly and out through your mouth. Speak deeply from your diaphragm sending your words to the back of the room and slow down some more.

I know that you can do this. In fact, I’m so confident that you can be heard and will be heard that I’m going to lend you my confidence.

When you are ready to take your meetings and presentations to the next level, ask me about PIMPing your Meeting.
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How to Improve Team Performance

How to improve team performanceThis is a story of two leaders.

We worked with the organisation on team performance and leadership because one of their sales teams was “highly successful” and another was “doing poorly, with a very low morale”. The organisation wanted us to “find out what’s working in [the high-performing  team], fix the [low-performing team] and run a training programme for all the other sales teams to  be as good as [the high-performing team].”

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How to Overcome the Great Delusions of Your Success

the great delusions of successDo you believe that to succeed you just have to be lucky, Or perhaps you believe it’s all about your own hard work? No, then perhaps you think it’s down to having the right connections. After all, the saying goes, it’s now what you know, it’s who you know.

“Luck” hints to us that all good things are the result of chance. Some people are lucky, some aren’t.  Or so the conventional thinking goes.

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How to Handle Tall Poppy Syndrome and Madras Crabs in the workplace

tall poppy syndrome

“True heroism is remarkably sober,  very undramatic.  It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever the cost, but the urge to serve others whatever the cost.”Arthur Ashe

I’ve been working with a client this past week who’s something of a maverick. A rebel. A person who has a different opinion and ideas about the way forward. It’s a joy for me to work with someone so intent on making a real difference and not content to follow the way things have been done in that particular organisation for years. Because the organisation is in a bit of a rut. They’re not growing, they’re stagnating. And before long, they could easily simply die out.

This leader has passion and believes that, with a few changes, things could be different. That there is life in the old dog yet.

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Brought to you by Dr John Kenworthy  

Right-click to Download the MP3 | Open Player in New Window

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