Every presentation brings an opportunity. That’s one of our core beliefs here at EMS.

But not everyone we work with sees it that way. In recent months, we have heard clients say:

  • I have to give this presentation.
  • They’re making me get up in front of the leadership team.
  • I’m afraid I’m going to screw up in front of my boss.

By looking at a presentation as a huge challenge, any you set yourself up to fail. This approach goes beyond just presenting: whenever you focus on challenges, you’re focusing on the empty portion of the glass, not the full one. You’re looking at barriers and limits, rather than opportunities, which are boundless. This negative attitude becomes self-fulfilling. (See Doubt in the EMS Glossary)

Setting a positive tone for your message adds a lot to your presentation. We’ve seen several CEO’s spend too much time telling their employees about the challenges their company is facing, and we’ve coached others to take a much more opportunity-focused stance while communicating the same information.

From our perspective, every presentation is an opportunity for you to get up in front of an important audience and demonstrate your skills, your expertise, and your ideas. We encourage people to take a “get to” perspective rather than a “have to” perspective, as in: “I GET to give this presentation to the management team” or “They’re giving me an opportunity to address industry leaders, and here’s what will happen if I do a great job.”

Don’t play in doubt, and whatever you do, don’t get up in front of a crowd and say something like “My name is Eric Schor, and I am worried.” Every presentation is a chance for you to work on your skills, and become a better presenter.