In one of his Optimize +1 posts earlier this year Brian Johnson shared some powerful advice he received years ago from author Steve Chandler regarding presentations. That advice was to focus on Connection over Perfection.
For trainers and speakers this is important advice. It is easy to get caught up trying to deliver the perfect presentation where you say the perfect things at the perfect time while standing at the perfect place to ‘anchor’ that perfect point. The challenge is that you can be so focused on perfection that you fail to make the connection with your audience. Without that connection it is difficult to have the message stick and to have learning and a change in behaviour take place. Perfect is also an impossible standard.
People come to training with an expectation that you will be prepared and knowledgeable. They do not come with an expectation that you will be perfect. They want you, and expect you, to be human and to be able to connect with them on some level. That connection may be built around similar backgrounds, similar life experiences, similar work experiences, or similar struggles. Or that connection may come from the fact that you have done your research and have a sense of appreciation of the challenges they are facing individually, and as an organization.
Instead of asking, “How can I tweak this to make it perfect?”, ask yourself, “How can I best connect with this audience?” Sometimes you are going to miss the mark for some of the people. The key is to make the effort and learn from the experience so you can strive to do better next time.
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