Presentation success relies on a combination of things. We spend days writing our presentation content, designing each slide, practicing our speech and body movement and putting on our game face for show time. But there’s an important leadership skill that could be holding you back. This leadership skill is something Entrepreneur says will make you “ultra-successful” in your business. Apply this trait to your presentation preparation to find unexpected success with your audience.

Presentation preparation is rigid. There’s a deadline to meet and many tasks to get down in between. Most of this hard work happens between our work and home life. The overwhelming amount of responsibility could cause us to forget that nothing in life can be planned to smallest detail. Sometimes presenters lack the leadership skill of flexibility.

Entrepreneur says, “having the ability and willingness to pivot when something gets in your way is crucial to your success.” For business owners, they deal day in and day out with new challenges. For presenters, weeks or even months are spent preparing for one presentation. When something goes wrong, it can throw everything off balance. With flexibility, you can creatively recover and achieve presentation success.

How can we best use flexibility in our presentations? There are many outstanding factors that require flexibility. Working with a team will make you more considerate of other people’s time. Solving a technical difficulty on the fly will make you engage with your audience. Strong leaders know when to pivot to make the best out of the situation. Entrepreneur offers this advice:

“One great indicator that it’s time to pivot is when you feel like giving up. When a challenge presents itself that’s so daunting that you consider throwing in the towel, think flexibility instead. How can you change direction — maybe toward something you never even considered — to stay in the game?”

If the stress of the presentation is causing you to have second thoughts or plans to back out, follow these tips.

Refining Your Overall Message

Early on in your presentation preparation, you might get a voice in the back of your head telling you something isn’t right. You should listen to it. Keeping your presentation message strong, passionate and relatable is important. You always have the opportunity to refine this message before your performance. Find room to tell a personal story about your journey. Make your introduction more impactful with a question or quote. Let compelling visuals tell the story on your slides instead of words. These are just some the the creative options you can put towards your presentation before it’s too late.

Meeting Your Audience’s Needs

Sometimes you may not know exactly what your audience wants until the day of your presentation. Public speaking expert Mark Murphy suggests opening your presentation by asking your audience the one thing you can tell them that will benefit them. This is a great idea but can pose a threat to all your preparation. Those weeks of training can go out the window if an audience member asks you a question you are not ready for. Make the most out of the situation by engaging in a discussion with you audience. Establishing a genuine connection with them will be more meaningful than issuing a canned response.

Flexibility is a leadership skill that can help businesses thrive and presentation succeed. Use these tips and more from the Ethos3 blog to get more flexible and triumphant with your presentation.


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