Recently I went down to the practice area at my Golf Club to work on my bunker shots.
The problem I had was, I did not know what I should be doing.
I tried different approaches based on various snippets of advice I remembered from previous lessons and advice from fellow players while out on the golf course after taking three shots to get out of a bunker.
I came home frustrated at my lack of progress, my shoes and my mouth full of sand.
In Ireland, a hole full of sand on a golf course is called a bunker. In America, it’s called a trap, a more appropriate name.
It’s there to trap your ball and prevent you from progressing to your planned target, the green or some spot on the fairway.
Even if you do not play golf, you have seen photos of golf courses full of daunting sand traps.
I realized that what I was doing was what people who wish to create important presentations also do. They pull together old slide decks changing the front, updating some of the images and hoping for the best.
My approach to my bunker play and your approach to preparing a presentation may be suffering from the same basic errors.
When presenting, some traps prevent you from achieving your goal of winning investment or sales.
When I looked at some golf instructional videos on YouTube, I realized that the advice and method of playing bunker shots had changed radically.
A couple of lessons with my golf professional confirmed this and greatly helped me improve my confidence when playing out of bunkers. As a result, my overall confidence levels on the golf course also improved. I no longer have the thought hanging over my head, “do not go into the bunker”.
When presenting, avoid this TRAP!
When presenting, the biggest trap of all is saying too much. Too many slides, too much text on the slides.
I spend my life asking my clients to reduce content!
We know from personal experience that people who have too much to say are generally boring.
What your audience wants is an engaging conversation, not a lecture or sermon.
Less is more:
When you are next preparing a presentation or pitch, my challenge to you is rather than having ten key points, have five, and take time to explain each point.
Use examples and stories to explain the value and importance of each point while demonstrating your knowledge on the subject.
If you wish to improve your confidence level when pitching, you will find over 100 articles on my website providing advice and tips on how to improve your communication skills.
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Click below to listen to my recent Irish Tech News podcast with Ria McGuire and my ambition to Help Rid the World of Boring Presenters.