J is for the pure Joy of presenting. How often we view presenting as a chore, something to be worried over, gotten though, and sometimes frightened by. The truth of it is, if we can get into the moment, presentations can be nearly effortless and even joyful. In addition, when we come from joy, not fear, our presentations are far more compelling to our listeners. Yes, you need to be as fully-prepared as the situation requires, no matter how much time it takes. But instead of approaching the presentation with dread, approach it with joy. This is an opportunity to connect and influence people. This is a chance to do good in the world. Use a little self-talk if you need to: “This is a joyous occasion, and I am so happy to be speaking and influencing people in a positive way.”
Speaking of joy, J is also for Jagger. Mick, that is. Here is an old soul, a 68 year old rocker who still rocks. Picture his swagger, observe how he uses his whole self to communicate with his audiences, think about the joy he brings to performances. Tentative? Timid? Unsure? No way! Here is a guy who goes all-out no matter what. I suspect if each of us had that mind-set and that commitment to our causes, our presentations would be so much richer and more compelling. Swagger a little? Better than creeping around feeling like a mouse. If you can’t rock your own presentations, who can?
J is also for Jobs, Steve Jobs. Well known for his casual dress and his conversational style, but also for the Wow Factor he always brought to presentations and announcements. Here is what I want you to know about Jobs; he wasn’t born that way. By all accounts, he started out a low-key, rather unimpressive speaker. In order to achieve the greatness we all associate with him, he had to work harder than most, and he spent untold hours rehearsing over and over, every aspect of the presentation, until it looked natural and spontaneous. Don’t resent the time it takes you to prepare in order to look smooth and polished in your delivery. In the long run, all your presentations and everyday communication will be better as a result.
There you have it, Joy, Jobs and Jagger.