Where is your focus when presenting

Not too long ago, I went with some friends to do indoor rock climbing.  I had never done it before and to be quite honest I am not good with heights.

The different climbs are designated by various colored tape on each of the spaces to place hands and feet.  And each climb in marked with a difficulty rating.

So I began the climb…shaking at first-even though I was connected to a rope and harness for safety.  It was certainly daunting to think I was somehow supposed to get waaaaaaaaay up there.

As I stared at the 30 foot wall, all I could think was…how am I going to do this?

I didn’t look down at the ground nor did I focus on the end of the climb.   I quickly realized that the key is to focus on no more than a 1 foot radius otherwise it increased the possibility of stumbling. Solving the climbing puzzle required focusing on the immediate path, one foot at a time and one hand at a time.

This same way of thinking is important when presenting as well.  To prevent stumbling in a presentation, you have to keep your focus on what you are saying rather than what was said or what you will say next.

This can be a challenge because presenters often so worried about the content that they spend the entire presentation in their head.  This actually limits your ability to fully engage the audience  because being present is essential to delivering a compelling presentation.

What is the solution?  To rehearse so much that you are no longer worried about the words.  You have practiced enough that you feel extremely confident that you will hit all of your major points.  The focus on one idea at a time.  This will enable you to be totally present during the presentation.  You’ll be able to focus on what you are saying in the moment and make a stronger connection with your audience.