Skillset New Zealand Blog

Ideas to help your team develop personally and professionally.

I know, it's a bit eye-watering to put good sex and presentation skills in the same thought, but I'm serious - I'm talking about what they have in common. When you see the connection you can make a magical difference to your presence in front of your audience.

The best sex (once you're past the experimental frenzy of extreme youth) is better called love-making. You knew that. The best love-making happens when the journey is so delightful that the destination loses its importance. It's when you just don't want it to end. You knew that too.

Okay, you've spotted where I'm going with this, but let me stay with the love-making for a moment... in fact there's the key word right there: moment. This moment is what matters. This moment is the time to enjoy. You're fully engaged right now, letting go of all worries about performance - a lesson that many young men take a long time to learn.

Did I just do the wrong thing? (Engaged in the past) Will she think I'm a lousy lover? (Engaged in the future).
What do I do with my hands?
What do I do with my arms?
Should I move around more? etc etc etc.. Worry... worry... worry...

So, to the point.

Choose to enjoy the company of the audience

That's a now-not-later choice. Show that enjoyment (or appreciation - the topic might be very serious) in the way you look at the people in front of you. Relax and make it obvious. Let them see your warmth for them. Which means, of course, that pasting on a smile won't cut it. It has to be a deep, genuine choice.

I know, that could be a heart-pounding decision. But think of the rewards. Any presenter who can abandon worry and just get into the topic and the audience has a terrific advantage. Why? Because we are drawn to them. We can't help it. No matter how logical or content-oriented we are, we perceive such presenters as strong personalities. Suddenly we don't care about their little mistakes. Either we forgive them, or we don't notice them.

Oh, and all the best with the love-making.


About Michael Brown

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Michael is a senior trainer with Skillset, based in Christchurch.

He is a leading authority on training in presentation and news media skills in New Zealand. He has special expertise in how to present emotionally-charged topics to challenging audiences. Michael has trained thousands of New Zealanders and worked with people who speak on behalf of some of the country's largest organisations.

Michael is a prolific author and his books on speaking and working with the media are in their fourth editions.

Speaking Easy: how to speak to your audiences with confidence and authority

Media Easy: how to handle the news media with confidence and authority

One of Michael's books is about his family's adventures sailing in the Pacific.

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