I’ve seen a lot of presenters and a lot of those have been using presenting skills NLP style!
So what’s different about NLP presentation skills?
When I did my trainers course in 1999, I hadn’t much of an idea what goes into an excellent presentation. Isn’t it just about being confident and being yourself? No, not at all as I was about to find out.
Confidence has little to do with how the audience perceive you.
We use the word confidence so much, yet you have to break down what you mean by it, to make sense of the process thats happening to make it good or bad. Body posture has a huge effect on the audience. If you can keep the body in an aligned posture during your talk, your audience has a chance to take the information easily. From research carried out, body language counts for at least 50% of what people are looking for to tell them what’s good or not. If you couple that with another 30% (at least) for the tone of voice you are using, you’ll get the picture that it’s not so much about the content at all!
So why bother with content at all?
Of course, there’s going to be a point where you’ll need to satisfy your audience with content relevant to why they are there. Yet if you thought that people are judging you on the content exclusively, you’ll be losing confidence already unless you have an amazing way with words. So the first part on the way to excellent presenting is to use your body and keep it symmetrical without too many distracting unconscious movements.
Next will be to satisfy the different learning styles in the room. There may be people who prefer pictures for their information, some who love tones and noises, maybe even sound effects; those who love to feel out the program and just want an exercise to ‘try it out’.
What about business presentations?
In business presentations, you can guess that at least half will prefer a style we call self talk or labeling types in NLP. They will not be using primary senses to experience your talk, yet will be one step behind or above the experience labeling, understanding, processing or writing down notes to ask questions later. They don’t need a touchy feely experience; they want to know facts and figures and if it all makes sense! You’ll also want to take care of the 4 types of processing in the room. Why people; What people; How people and What if? people.
The 4 mat system
Some people are motivated by Why? questions. They want to know why we are listening to this talk. Others by What? questions; they want information…and probably lots of it! The How? people want to get on and do an exercise, get their hands on it and try it. Then there are the What if? people who want to know how this material applies to their life, workplace or environment.
Mixed in with this, you’ll need some humour, good metaphors (opened loops are the best), and an ability to manage the energy of the room whilst staying connected to the whole group simultaneously. Sound easy? It can be with a little practice and a good teacher.
If you want a bit of a laugh, here are some outtakes from a presentation skills recording, plus a music edit. The audio will not follow the video.