Making The Same Presentation Over and Over – How Not to Get Bored or Boring!
When you’ve given a presentation or speech many times, we often feel that there is no need for preparation.
You know the words and the content backwards, you’ve been successful in getting your message across and no negative feedback has reached you about the presentation or the speech. Why change something that isn’t broken to paraphrase a popular saying?
The first reason is you.
What will you do if you get part way through the presentation the next time you give it and your brain starts to send a message that you’ve already said that or worse, you stop because you think you actually are repeating yourself with this audience.
Once, many years ago, I was the lead trainer for the implementation of a Quality Management System in a large multi-national organisation. I presented the same information to over 800 employees across two countries in 45 sessions in a period of 3 months.
Do you think I got through that without wondering where I was and if I had said something already? No I did not.
Don’t let yourself fall into that trap simply because you think you know your presentation well.
The second reason is your audience.
Each time you are in front of an audience, regardless of the size, it is a different group. It is the first time they are hearing you present this information to them. Think about them, not about you – you’ve got you covered, the variable in the presentation equation is your audience.
The best way to approach any repetitive presentation is to think about your audience first. You know your presentation/speech so focus your preparation time on getting some understanding of your audience and why they are there.
If I had thought about this in the example I shared earlier, I would have been able to keep the presentations more focused on each separate group of audiences and this, in turn, would have given me indications of where the information being presented needed to be expanded differently for different audiences in subsequent sessions for those groups.
Keep reviewing your presentation and your audience. If you get bored or complaisant with your presentation your audience will know and react accordingly.
And if you do get to a point where you think “Have I said this already to this group” stop what you are saying and actually ask the audience. It gives you time to regather your focus and gives the audience a chance to tell you if you are indeed repeating yourself.
It is not a sign of weakness but rather a way of engaging the audience with you and the presentation.