While playing cricket, it takes some time to get settled into the rhythm of the game and play well as a batsman. One thing I noticed while playing is, as long as I concentrate on my game I continue playing well. The moment I admire my own shot or think that I did better than what I expected, I lose concentration and the performance dips. This was not only evident in cricket, it was more pronounced when I showed up on stage plays at school, it is imperative that I remain focussed till the end of the event.
This began to worry me when presenting to a large audience because I used to feel good that if first part of my presentation went on fine and I would lose focus for few moments before I regain it. Presentations unlike writing takes a lot of preparation and it is one time write only style of delivery. The focus for a presentation should be being present for the entire duration however the presentation turns out to be.
Q. How to stay away from analysis, course correction or recovery thoughts while presenting?
A. Think of worst case scenario – the worst possible thing that can happen is that the presentation can go bad. This will bring focus onto delivering the presentation than analyzing it midway.
A. Garr Reynolds in his book Presentation Zen talks about how connected we should be with the subject we are talking about, such that we can weave a story around the topic we want to deliver and be able to deliver the talk even without the slides.
Q. How do I know the pulse of the audience?
A. It is better to do some homework about the audience we are delivering the talk to if we are new to presenting than to try to get the pulse of audience during the talk.
Q. How do I get to think about my talk or admire it?
A. Someone in the audience should record it for us to help us retrospect our talk.