Two words presenters should NEVER say
But Almost Always do!
Clearly you have given a presentation in the past or you will present in the near future if the title of this post caught your attention. I wonder what these two words are is a question roaming through your mind. Have I ever spoken these two words?
The answer is yes, yes you most certainly have spoken these two words and yes you will be apt to speak these two words in the future unless you are proactively coaching yourself to avoid these two words under any circumstance. After coaching and training over 8,000 (eight thousand) individuals in 32 (thirty-two) countries I am sharing with you in full confidence a little secret that very few coaches will ever divulge. Unless you HIRE them. I am giving this information away for FREE.
I’m (I apostrophe m) is considered a contraction in American English so some of you may view this as two words. Well, tomatoe tomato potatoe potatoe. In this context it is considered one word. Ergo, the two words you should NEVER utter as a presenter………………..
I’m sorry. I’M SORRY. Really? What were those two words again? I’m sorry. Why oh why would you apologize (apologise) for something your audience has NO idea YOU (THE PRESENTER) actually may have perceived as a mistake.
Did your slide fail to load? Did your mic bleep out? Did the animation fail to build in your PowerPoint deck? Did your headset fall off your face? You can see where I am going with this talk track. These things and many other anomalies have likely happened to you if you are reading this post.
DO NOT TAKE THE TIME TO APOLOGIZE. Let me say that again. DO NOT APOLOGIZE. It isn’t likely your audience members will even notice a small impediment to your presentation. However, if you take the time to apologize you are giving your audience of Adult Learners one more reason to distract from your message. BIG MISTAKE.
Instead of apologizing; simply gather your thoughts and revert to what you know as your “BEST” presentation self (if you don’t know what this is schedule a coaching session now). Take a breath, go to your emotional happy place and continue on. This sequence should take place in a matter of seconds. It is your responsibility to nurture the learning journey of your audience. It is not your responsibility to share with them your nervousness for what has gone wrong during the presentation nor the nerves you have racked up for yourself. Rather to guide them in the journey for what has gone right and what is good and whole and true about your presentation.
I’m Sorry serves the same purpose as any other “un-word.” During a presentation, virtual meeting, virtual training, virtual event or whatever term you may fancy, these words become a major distraction. The more un-words you iterate during a presentation the more reasons an Adult Learner has to distract from your message.
When was the last time you counted your “un-words” during a presentation? I will count them for you during a 1:1 coaching session