Taking Ownership Increases Authenticity

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As I’ve mentioned before, my presentation coaching covers a wide range of communications, from classic sales, marketing, investor and corporate PowerPoint presentations to handling oneself in rainmaking situations, courtroom appearances, keynote addresses and issue debating. What’s great is that almost every week, I witness another case which proves the value of our ADAP (Audience-Driven Authentic Presentations) approach to presentation excellence.

A team of debaters was working feverishly to improve their skills. This weekend, they competed in a statewide competition, and came in third. And, one of the team members won the Best Speaker Award!

At the debriefing, we reviewed what went right and what didn’t in the debates, and why Jack (the winner) felt he was awarded Best Speaker. He noted that generally his partner does the drafting of the debate cases and he then customizes them for his own use. This time, he had extra time to draft the material for the two of them. He smiled as he reflected that “I really felt this was my material, rather than David’s. I always customize his drafts to my style, but this time I truly owned all the case material. That let me make critical distinctions in the material, I normally wouldn’t have made. I guess being able to meaningfully present those nuances made me more effective that I usually am.”

In other words, truly owning the material allowed him to be fully authentic in presenting it – and the judges clearly recognized his power and skill.  What’s been your experience delivering someone else’s presentation material with content or template style with which you’re not truly comfortable? Has it effective your ability to present authentically and fully connect with the audience?  Share your experiences.