You’re giving your presentation.
You’re agonizing over every word and focusing really hard on making sure you don’t forget anything.
Then it hits you.
You’ve been standing still the entire time talking in a monotone voice!! Or even worse, you don’t realize you’re being robotic until AFTER you watch a playback of your presentation or watch your video!
Presenting in a way that feels natural and off-the-cuff is the holy grail for every entrepreneur.
Here’s how to find that grail:
First, the most important thing to remember is – if you’re thinking about how stiff you are as you present, you’re going to come off as stiff. GET OUT OF YOUR HEAD AND CONNECT BACK TO YOUR MESSAGE!
It’s important to relax. Don’t tell yourself to relax but DO do (doodoo?) deep breathing and use the emotions your mind and body are feeling to your advantage. Don’t let them stress you out. They CAN energize you. See my other video on “eliminating anxiety.”
But here’s the kicker: The real work in helping you relax doesn’t happen in the presentation, but in your preparation.
Here’s how to prepare like a pro:
Memorization doesn’t have to be monotonous, nor will it make you come off as scripted. In fact, properly memorizing your script will allow you to improvise when you want to (we’ll talk more about that in a bit).
We all remember cramming for a math test in high school right up until the test, only to completely blank on the answers when it’s time.
I see this happen a lot now with entrepreneurs.
They’ll write a script (or not write one and try to wing it), do a read-through right before they need to turn on a webcam or jump on stage, annnnnd completely bomb!
The good news is, our failure to remember isn’t our fault. Cramming has been shown to be an ineffective way to remember things.
Recalling something is processed differently in our brains than recognizing it. When you’re cramming, your brain is processing the information to help you recognize it. But, it’s not doing a very good job at helping you recall.
That’s why when you finally get that test, you recognize the problem, you KNOW you can answer it, but you can’t recall how. And that’s why skimming over your script is an ineffective way to remember what to say.
I recommend practicing no later than 24 hours before you need to present. You’ve got to sleep on it at LEAST one night before so your brain can make the new connections required to have the words ready for you the next day. No paper required!
How you memorize isn’t the only important part. It’s WHAT you’re memorizing. Huge blocks of text can be overwhelming.
Here’s a better way:
Deconstruct and breakdown your script into paragraphs of the main ideas, then add a few bullet point ideas for each idea.
As you memorize and practice your deconstructed script, you can start seeing the overall ideas of your presentation.
This will allow you to veer off script and improvise, which will make you feel more natural. As long as you hit those main ideas, you can still get your point across without needing to memorize the script word for word.