Just got off the phone with my friend Jeff. We have about a weekly discussion about what works and what doesn’t when it comes to presentations. The theme was present at my lunch, as well. My meeting with a sales guy discussed why folks don’t do things that make them stand out (in a good way).The question is simple: why do people continue to parrot bad habits and ineffective presentations? At first glance, the explanation is easy, as well:

  1. If we’re new to a company, the last thing we’re going to do is rock the boat. We’re going to do what everyone else does, even if it stinks.
  2. Once we do something and survive, we’re most likely to do the same something, even if it’s not great.
  3. There are very few direct penalties for doing a bad presentation.

These observable truths lead to pure death in presenting. We have GOT to continue to refine our craft and do new things. Some (many?!) may not work. But we’ll never know if we don’t try. So why is that so hard?That answer is a little more complex. No one likes to fail. Some do it more gracefully than others, of course, but few people posses the fortitude and drive to set out with high risk when a safer alternative exists (albeit more boring as well). And yet that is what is needed. The question becomes HOW we can force ourselves to risk. More on that later.But for now, I firmly believe…Facing great risk leads to the greatest rewards.

Try something different. It may even work. 🙂

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