The Two Critical Success Factors for Any Presentation: Personalization and Controlled Passion

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The Two Critical Success Factors for Any Presentation

When you are to present, bear in mind that it is not enough to prepare your topic: you need to be your topic. It does not matter if you are a student, executive, housewife, doctor or politician. It does not matter if the presentation is on a scientific, political or personal matter. You must find a unique way to present your topic. Your own personal way. This personalization can be the ultimate weapon, the primary success factor of your presentation.

Every topic can be personalized. You need to find an element, the focus of the presentation that is all yours. For example if the topic is “ways to succeed (as an author, trainer etc.)” the focus can be “how many times I failed and what I learned to achieve success”. If the topic is stress management, the focus can be “how I overcame the stress of missing my flight”.

Tell your story

I strongly recommend personalizing your presentation even if you are presenting scientific data. Tell your story. People like stories. People respond to stories. People learn through stories. “Stories make an invisible network that connects all of us”. states C. Jung. “Neurologists say that our brains are programmed much more for stories than for abstract ideas. Tales with a little drama are remembered far longer than any slide crammed with analytics.” says John Kotter, author of “A Sense of Urgency.”

By setting a personal story as the strong foundation of your presentation, you make the subject all yours. Most importantly, you are emotionally engaged with the topic. You can be vulnerable, you can be funny, you can be you. You can pass the passion on.

Good presenters do not ask for the lights to be on them

Perhaps what differentiates the wonderful presenter from the good presenter is what I call “controlled passion”. Can passion be controlled, you may ask? It can. When a presenter shows exaggerated passion, the lights are on them, but good presenters do not ask for the lights to be on them, good presenters always turn the lights towards the audience. It is the passion of the audience we need to inflame. Controlled passion is passion that comes from the heart and it will inspire others.

Maybe you will need time to find the personal element of your presentation and learn to transmit your controlled passion. Maybe you will need more time for this than to design and prepare the presentation itself. This investment is worthwhile though, because when you find these things, you will have resolved the most difficult knot of your presentation. AND YOU WILL BECOME THE TOPIC.

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