I am sitting here munching on a piece of failed banana bread – yes the images are mine!
I was considering what I needed to do to bake it successfully next time.
This was the first attempt with the combination of this recipe, this loaf tin and this oven.
Next time I make this banana bread, the ingredients will be the same – maybe one less banana, the loaf tin will be the same and the oven but I will NOT turn it out straight away.
So in a dodgy analogy, I am likening the baking process and my less than successful baking episode to you and your last public speaking disaster/cringefest.
I want you to look at the last time you gave a presentation and you considered it a failure. Rest assured, not everyone else would have but we are looking at your perception here.
What were your ingredients? Did you know your topic well? Did you identify your audience in advance? Was there a message you wanted to deliver?
What about the baking tin and oven? Was the room and equipment familiar to you? Were you in control of the supporting material – slides, audio, handouts?
Take the time to explore why it was a disaster. Of course, it is easier to say “I was terrified” and “I am never going to present again” and avoid any future opportunities.
I would prefer, as your warm and encouraging master public speaking coach, that you look at the event and de-construct it. Is there a way you could have approached it differently, are there elements that could be worked on and improved?
A common response is – I don’t want to relive that nightmare!
Perhaps not – but take it step by step and look at the event objectively from the distance of space and time, there is much that can be learned.
Review, revise, renew, reduce, recycle to improve your presentation.
By the way my banana cake was delicious! What will the memory of your next public speaking event be?
Frances Cahill is a speaker, a master pitch polisher and public speaking coach. Her programs offer a unique combination of practical drama techniques and the theory of public speaking. Drop a line or give her a call for the chance to find a new level of confidence in your presentation skills.