Blow a big deal?
Trash an important pitch?
Ouch. It hurts.
But you will recover. Star presenters around the globe have the ability to bounce back and keep going.
And here’s the good news.
If they can do it, so can you. What’s the secret to being resilient and not getting swamped with remorse, guilt and regret? There are three key areas to focus on. The good news is the skills for resilient presenting can be learned through experience, training, coaching and mentoring.
With active presentation skills training, it’s easy to increase resilience and boost confidence. This is the fastest way to tackle a tough situation, learn from it, and move forward. So, if you’ve blown an important presentation, instead of kicking the tires in the parking lot, blowing up on the freeway and screaming at your spouse…do something more productive.
Follow these 7 simple steps to get on track and bounce back into action.
1. Evaluate What Happened
Key word here is: evaluate. A cool head. An objective view. Not the kind of guilt ridden self-attacks that make you feel like crawling into the closet. Nope. Instead, take a cool look at what happened. When did you drop the ball? Did you have an intuitive hunch before the meeting? Were there signs and symptoms that you ignored or failed to recognize? Was it a surprise ambush that was unforeseeable? Evaluate and write down everything about the presentation, from contracting to completion.
2. Get Objective Feedback
Inspite of your best efforts, it can be difficult to be objective. That’s why it’s very helpful to get a pair of outside eyes. Don’t rely on a friend, spouse or teammate. They may be too close to you, the emotions and the issues. Work with an expert business presentation coach to get levelheaded feedback. Consider working with a virtual presentation coach to get immediate help, at a fraction of the cost of an executive coach who only works onsite.
3. Focus On Skill Solutions
Once you’ve met with your coach, focus on specific skills that can help you in the future. Target presentation skills you can use immediately – in your very next presentation. Some of the most helpful skills will be in the areas of:
- Structuring your presentation for impact
- Understanding audience needs and perspectives
- Communicating to engage and involve Visual storytelling with whiteboards
- How to inspire action
These skill areas are available in webinars, online training classes and self-study resources.
4. Experiment With New Delivery Methods
Once you’ve learned new skills, it’s time to practice. Treat presentation delivery in the same way you run a project. Plan your goals, timelines and accomplishments. Keep a running tally of what you are learning and using. Focus on one area at a time – to get the most mileage out of your efforts.
5. Ask For Client Input
Check in with your clients and customers. Ask them directly what’s working…and what could be improved. Position these questions as a part of how you can be a strategic partner and serve their needs most effectively. Most clients are happy to be involved with a sales presenter who is actively growing and focused on improving communications.
6. Work With an Executive Coach
Now, it’s time to continue working with your presentation coach. Your coach can help you focus on subtle improvements in design, delivery and achieving results. Your coach should stretch you to increase your confidence and ability to ‘bounce back’ from setbacks.
7. Track and Measure Personal Performance
Evaluating performance, building skills, experimenting, asking for feedback and having ongoing coaching are marks of a successful professional. As you continue to build your resilience, track and measure your investments and actions in each area over time. This is a key factor in making progress, building skills, and enjoying the process.