Why Can’t We Still Present Like We’re 8 Years Old?

A few weeks ago, my daughter was “Star of the Week”, which meant she had an opportunity to make a presentation in front of her class.

This is the third year in a row she’s had to put together a Star of the Week presentation. It happens every year. Yet it hasn’t gotten old for her.

Star of the Week

She was excited and proud of the presentation she had put together. In my (un-biased) professional opinion, she rocked that presentation.

Here are the facts:

  • She kept to her time limit.
  • She used powerful images (family photos) and never thought about PowerPoint or bullet-pointed lists.
  • Somehow she held the attention of 20 other 8-year-olds for the entirety of her presentation. Maybe it was her enthusiasm. Maybe it was the stories she told. Maybe it was because her classmates weren’t allowed to bring their smart phones to school. Just look at the photographic evidence above – she has her audience wrapped around her little finger!

What happens between the time we’re 8 years old and the day we get up in front of some type of professional audience – whether in a team meeting, at new employee orientation or at a conference?

Where does the enthusiasm to get in front of an audience go? Where does the impulse to immediately open up PowerPoint come from? Where does our ability to keep our audience on the edge of their seats for the entirety of the presentation go?

I’d been asked to deliver several presentations this week. Amidst all of my other job duties, I found myself going into “automatic pilot” mode as I developed this week’s presentations… until I reflected on the lesson my daughter taught me in her Star of the Week presentation.

I may have given a variation of these presentations multiple times in the past, but it’ll be this week’s audience first time seeing these presentations. I owe them all the 8-year-old enthusiasm and excitement I can offer.

How do you stay motivated to keep your presentations fresh? I’d love to hear it in the comment section below.


Is the Joy of Presenting Missing from your New Employee Orientation?

New Employee Orientation programs can often be delivered on “automatic pilot”, which is a serious buzz kill for new employees who are excited to start a new job.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

Join phase(two)learning’s Michelle Baker and me in a 2-day public workshop where you’ll be able to re-visit, revise and refine your New Employee Orientation program.

Sounds interesting? Click here to go to the registration page.

Want more information? Send me an email at bpwashburn@gmail.com for more details.

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