Imagine putting hours into preparing for a presentation, managing your nerves so you could deliver your message, and then getting the following feedback:
- “You sucked!”
- “You can’t do this.”
- “That was awful!”
Most of us would be horrified if that happened and can’t imagine hearing those comments from their audience. The thing is, people I coach regularly make some version of these comments to themselves after practicing a presentation. These thoughts and comments are often automatic. When people aren’t aware that they say them, they certainly aren’t aware of how they hold themselves back.
I have multiple opportunities every session of Maximum Influence to point out something negative someone said about their presentation that they didn’t even realize they said. The typical response is surprise, followed by a sheepish grin when they understand what they did.
Pay attention to the “feedback” you give yourself. Comments like this are detrimental regardless of whether they come from you or someone else. Most of us would never let anyone talk to us the way we speak to ourselves. Why tolerate it just because it came from you?
I find that most people need help seeing how they create obstacles that keep them from presenting effectively. Once they see them, they can use strategies learned to remove them and get the results they need.
Three common self-imposed obstacles I see when working with clients:
1. An inner dialogue that sets people up for failure.
What we say to ourselves directly impacts our emotions and our performance. Even subconscious thoughts affect performance. We help people hear that dialogue and change the script, so it helps rather than hurts performance.
2. Overpreparation that wastes time, increases stress, and locks people into a rigid delivery.
Stress typically drives people to overprepare for presentations. What they don’t understand is that overpreparation is another obstacle that prevents them from influencing effectively. We help them see the negative impact overpreparation has and teach them a proven way to prepare that cuts their preparation time down by up to 75% while building their confidence, so they can deliver effectively and ultimately achieve their purpose.
3. Getting stuck in their head.
There is a tendency for people to get so wrapped up in their thoughts and saying the right thing that they miss the opportunity to connect with their listeners. They miss the subtle signs of piqued interest, disengagement, or disagreement, and then wonder why they weren’t effective. We help people get out of their heads and into the heads of their listeners so they can better understand and connect with them.
Imagine the impact you could have if the obstacles between your intended purpose and achieving your purpose were removed. People who think they can’t influence have created obstacles for themselves that slow or derail their ability to influence effectively.
We’ve been helping people remove obstacles and maximize their influence for over 30 years, and we’d love the opportunity to help you too. We will help you identify what is holding you back and give you specific, practical ways to become the influencer you need to be to succeed.
Take the first step and schedule a free consultation with Dr. Heather Johnson to determine how to maximize your influence.