This is the sound of you not beginning that upcoming presentation. We’ve all been there. Fighting that urge to offset procrastination is a hard battle to win. More often than not, we lose confidence, determination and concentration that is needed for presentation preparation. If you can fight this hesitation, your presentation will be more creative, your practice will be more engaging and you will feel less stressed.
Dr. Travis Bradberry offers 5 strategies to beat procrastination and become more productive. He cites research on the negative effects waiting till the last minute can have on your work. A Case Western Reserve University study shows that students who turned in their papers early had better grades and better overall health than the students who were rushing to meet their deadline. A study by Bishop’s University shows a link between procrastination and hypertension and heart disease. These people also had poor diet and little exercise.
Clearly, there are more negatives than positive when it comes to waiting. How come we always fall victim to this trap? Dr. Bradberry says it’s because of the excuses we tell ourselves. In this article, you will learn the 5 strategies to combat these excuses and how to apply them to your presentation practice.
This statement runs across my mind from time to time as I begin a new project. Thinking about the big picture too much can cause panic to set in, and you’ll freeze. Getting from the beginning of a presentation to the end can be an overwhelming task. Dr. Bradberry says simplify it. “The key here is to not allow fear of the whole to stop you from engaging in the parts. When something looks too difficult, simply break it down.” Accomplish smaller portions of your presentation and before you know it, the impossible task is complete.
With today’s technology, our attention spans are shorter than ever. According to Business Insider, we touch our phones 2,617 times a day. There is a knee jerk reaction to accomplishing our presentation preparation and finding other things to do. Suddenly, a menial task becomes our priority. The best way to stop this is through visualization. “When you find yourself avoiding a particularly sizeable task, slow down and visualize what will happen if you continue to put off the task,” says Dr. Bradberry. “Distractions numb you by shifting your attention away from these consequences.”
Putting off your presentation preparation because you believe it will take you no time is a mistake. Regardless of how many slides you create, a lot more thought goes into crafting the perfect message and executing a stunning design. Waiting too long on prepare your presentation will make you lose valuable time. Dr. Bradberry’s solution – “If a task is too easy, draw connections to the bigger picture, because these connections turn mundane tasks into a fundamental part of your job.” Your presentation should always focus on the big picture to leave the greater impact.
We get it – some presentations are not very exciting. Charts, graphs, data and content can make you want to take a nap instead. But there are more interesting ways to reveal this information. Ditch the charts and graphs and make the data more visual. Spice up your content with a story, an interesting study or your favorite quote. Dr. Bradberry recommends making this unfavorable tasks the one you must complete before moving on. This boundary will force you to focus on your presentation preparation and nothing else.
Uncertainty at it’s finest. When we are assigned something new or take on more responsibility, we begin to hear that voice in our heads saying it can’t be done. Presentations require concentration for story development, a creative eye for design and rigorous rehearsals. This can make an inexperienced public speaker put off their preparation because of the fear of failure. Dr. Bradberry says you must stop visualizing everything that could fail and start thinking about success. If you kick off a new project with a little bit of confidence, you can get the work done faster.
If you are looking to enhance your presentation preparation process, try one of our training services. Our unique coaching will show you step by step the best ways to get your presentation done. Right now, we are offering a sneak peak for our training with this free audio download. If you like what you hear, reach out to us for all the ways we can help you make a presentation a success.
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