For the last three decades, we’ve helped executives at every stage of development become better presenters. Our experience with thousands of clients at Brilliant Image provided enormous insights into how to help them be better presenters. You have to go beyond polishing one’s skills for design and delivery of a message, and change your mindset: see this as an opportunity to help your audience make a good decision, rather than focusing on your own anxieties. That’s why the first half of our famous ADAP formula is “audience-driven”.
John Dewey observed that “we do not learn from experience; we learn from reflecting on experience. Building on that insight, Stefan Falk’s recent article, “Daily Journaling is the Key to Continuous Improvement”, provides a new insight into how to be a more relaxed and focused presenter.
He advocates for daily journaling of our observations and experiences because writing “helps mitigate emotional judgements; the act of journaling creates objectivity that’s not available when just reflecting emotionally charged incidents.” Writing requires you to organize and edit your ideas, and sharpens your thinking skills. In turn, that creates neural structures for thinking about problems rather than simply having random thought. It allows you to distance yourself emotionally from the content (and fears) of your (presenting) experience, gives you the ability to see things from different angles, think constructively about what you could learn from reflection, and commit to taking action.
He offers a framework which you might want to consider using:
- Write down what you’re grateful for – to develop a positive outlook
- Document the emotions that you felt most strongly
- What avoidable mistakes did you make (which his clients say reduces them by as much as 50%!)
- What were your key conversations and meetings, in terms of helping you overcome stress.
Give it a try! Let us know how it works for you.