How reflecting back on presentations you’ve done can improve your upcoming presentations
When you think back on a presentation you just did do you tend to focus on what went wrong or do you think how great it was? Focusing on either extreme isn’t terribly helpful in making your next presentation even better.
A recent show
At Vancouver’s PUSH International Performing Arts Festival (https://pushfestival.ca/), this year one of the show’s I attended was called How to Fail as a Pop Star (https://pushfestival.ca/shows/how-to-fail-as-a-popstar/). Near the end of this theatrical memoir, the performer, Vivek Shraya, listed 40 reasons why she did not become a pop star. In addition to listing things out of her control, she also listed errors she felt she had made.
Four techniques to effectively reflect on your completed presentations
- Think about all the good things you did during the presentation – It is really important to start by thinking about all the things you did really well during the presentation. Perhaps it was simply having the courage to stand up and speak. For one of my clients, it was realizing that her speech was much better than the much more experienced speakers who had preceded her.
- Think about external things that didn’t go so well – Next, think about things that didn’t go well and that you had no control over. I remember one event near the beginning of COVID that was zoom bombed. I was the speaker not the event organizer. The Zoom bombers started by interrupting my speech to say things like “She has a face like a pug” and then started scribbling on my screen. After restarting twice, we finally got the Zoom bombers off. Only 30% of those originally online for my presentation came back. If I had known Zoom better, I might have been able to suggest things to my host. This was still more an external problem.
- Think about what you could have done to make it better – Next, think about one or two things you could do better next time. Limit yourself to just one or two improvements. If you come up with a whole list of things, you are unlikely to do any of them. If you come up with just one or two, you can focus on those for your next presentations. Thinking back a presentation I did shortly after I started my business in late 2018, I got too impatient waiting for a video that I wanted to play for the audience to load. As a result, I loaded it multiple times and it started playing over itself. UGH! I learned to click once and then wait for a minute or two before clicking again.
- Remind yourself that you are already good and can become an even better presenter – I believe that everyone can convey detailed information in a way that is memorable and engaging. It doesn’t matter how dry or technical the information is. Remind yourself that you already are a presenter and that you have skills. No matter the level of presenter that you are, you can become even better. As I share in my free webinars and with my clients, all it takes are:
- The right tools
- The right attitude
- Practise, Practise, Practise
Are you able to see what you are already good at and areas to improve?
It can be hard for many of us to see what we are already doing well. As MJ Ryan shared during an amazing session during SheEO’s [https://sheeo.world/] Mindset Learning Circle, “Our brains have Velcro for the negative and Teflon for the positive.”
One way I help my clients is by having them do their presentation with me as their audience (in advance of their actual presentation). I then provide supportive feedback sharing both the positive things they are already doing and a few things to tweak to make their presentations even better.
If you would like to know what you are already doing well and what areas to focus on to improve, sign up for my free 45-minute AMP Up Session. During this session, I will guide you through a self-Assessment of the Memorability of your Presenting. Getting an outside perspective on your presenting can be incredibly valuable. People who have done an AMP Up Session with me have described it as Engaging, Insightful and Valuable.
If you would like to get clarity on what you do well and areas you can improve on, book a free AMP UP Session with me at a time that works for you: https://calendly.com/brenda-memorablepresenter/45min-amp_up.