Do You Find Public Speaking Taxing?
“Income tax has made more liars out of the American people than golf.”— Will Rogers, humorist
The COVID-19 virus has changed a lot in your life. There are two things in your life that you will never avoid. The first thing is someday you will pass from this earth. The second thing is while you will still be here, you will pay taxes to your national, state, and local governments. This is the season!
Paying taxes is taxing. There is no doubt about it!
Is speaking in public taxing for you?
Part of my job as a presentation skills coach is to teach people how to reduce the taxing parts of their public speaking.
Below are three tips for you to follow to reduce your public speaking taxes.
Think back to when you were in high school. The amount of time you spent studying for your tests/exams was inversely proportional to the amount of anxiety you felt about the test/exam. In other words, when you increase your study time you decrease your anxiety level.
The same thing happens with your presentations. The more time you put into preparing your presentations, the more you will reduce your public speaking taxes – your anxieties about delivering your presentations.
Brian Tracy, the self-development expert says, “Practice doesn’t make perfect, but it does make permanent.”
In preparing for all your presentations, you will be faced with the following question: “How long do I have to practice my presentation?” The answer is simple. You should practice your presentation as long as is necessary to get your presentation to the point where you are willing to present it to an audience. Sounds simple? You are the only one who can answer this question.
Preparation and practice are needed in learning to drive a car, taking a test, and speaking in public. This being said, it is taxing. Expect this whenever you encounter a new activity.
You might have the tendency to expect perfection in your speaking.
Fight Your Perfectionist Tendencies
There never has been and there never will be a perfect presentation delivered by anyone. The sooner you realize this and stop being so critical of yourself, the sooner you will reduce your public speaking taxes.
There is an ironclad law in life called the Law of Diminishing Returns. This law simply states there will come a time in preparing for an activity where more effort will not appreciably affect the outcome. In fact, at this point, you will actually pay a cost in your time which you will not recover.
Of course, the trick is to know when you have reached this point in your presentation preparation, stop what you are trying to make perfect, and move on to another part of your presentation preparation or declare it “ready for prime time.”
Remember, your audience will be listening to your presentation for the first time. They literally have no idea what is planned in your presentation and what is not. Deviation from your planned presentation will be totally transparent to your audience.
As I have mentioned before in past newsletters, consider it a cardinal sin to tell any of your audiences when your presentation doesn’t go exactly according to plan. In fact, planning your presentation down to the last detail of body language, vocal variety, and the actual words can be dangerous. It is dangerous, because any deviation you make in your presentation will actually raise your anxiety and, therefore, your public speaking taxes.
You need to be flexible in your presentation delivery for a few good reasons. You may get a reaction from the audience that steers you in a direction that is more relevant to your audience. Go with this new direction.
You may, on the fly, decide to take out a part of your presentation that you find, after seeing and hearing from your audience, is not relevant for them. Go with it.
You may have to delete some of your material because audience reaction is adding time to your presentation that you did not foresee. Act as if this was your plan.
It’s important to put in the time to fully prepare your presentation. However at the same time, your perfectionist tendencies will eventually invoke the Law of Diminishing Returns wasting your time for little return.
Maybe what will give you the most confidence and appreciably reduce your public speaking taxes is the fact that your audience truly wants you to succeed.
Your Audience Wants You to Succeed
Your audience wants you to succeed for a selfish reason.
You have heard that you can never save time. Once time is gone, it is gone forever. The most you can do is reallocate future time.
Your audience knows this also. They are giving up their time to hear you speak. They want you to succeed because they don’t want to think they have wasted their own time. That’s logical, isn’t it.
Would it be easier and more enjoyable for you when you are delivering your presentation to know the audience is behind you? Of course, it would!
An ironclad rule when you speak is to deliver what was advertised. There is nothing more frustrating to your audience members, then you not delivering in your presentation what you advertised. So, at the minimum, deliver in your presentation what you advertised.
So you have the audience with you if you deliver in your presentation what you advertised. However, if you want your audience to be delighted, deliver more than what you advertised.
Here is an example of delivering more than you advertised.
I teach an online course called the Presentation Skills Master Class. I won’t go into the details of the class, but in a message to my students before the class, I tell them after the class they would receive the following:
Evaluation of their public speaking
Presentation Skills Checklist
FREE PDF copy of my book, “Speak Well and Prosper: Tips, Tools and Techniques for Better Presentations”
Adding them to my weekly newsletter list.
During the class, I told them I would be sending them the following bonuses. This delighted my students.
My “Great Speaking is Critical to Great Speaking” Program
My “Quick and Easy Tips for Speaking in the Virtual World” Program
Delivering more than you promise is always a winner with your audience.
So, to reduce your public speaking taxes (1) put sufficient time preparing your presentation to the point where you are satisfied, (2) fight your perfectionist tendencies, and, (3) use your audience’s desire to see you succeed to increase your confidence and lift your presentation to a truly memorable performance.
If you reduce your public speaking taxes these three ways you will find yourself in rarified air of the spellbinding speaker!
Who wants to pay more taxes?
Call to Action
Thoroughly prepare for your presentation
Don’t let your perfectionist tendencies rule your preparation activities and time – no one has ever delivered the perfection presentation
Use the energy from your audience wanting you to succeed to propel you to your finest performance
“Few of us ever test our powers of deduction, except when filling out an income tax form.”— Laurence J. Peter, author ____________________________________________________________________________________________________
Introducing a new book from Frank DiBartolomeo!
“Speak Well and Prosper: Tips, Tools, and Techniques for Better Presentations”
Launched Saturday, January 30, 2021 online in a store near you!
DiBartolomeo Consulting International’s (DCI) mission is to help technical professionals to inspire, motivate, and influence colleagues and other technical professionals through improving their presentation skills, communication, and personal presence.
Contact DCI at
Office – (703) 815-1324
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