I’m Not…

“I’m not going to drain this slide…”

When we hear this, most of us mentally brace for the inevitable draining of the slide. Phones open, laptops get busy, and no amount of caffeine can help the moment.

The good news is, this is an easy presentation skill to improve, with a little practice. Easy, but uncomfortable.

First step is to scour your presentation language for any sentences beginning with “I’m not,” and reflect on why they are there. Why tell people what you’re not going to do (especially if you plan to do it anyway). It’s uncomfortable, but likely that you can remove this phrase.

Next, look at the intent of your presentation. Best to have the help of a colleague, especially someone who is not a stakeholder attending your presentation. Request they ask you at least five times why you are giving this presentation. This will help you get to the root of your intent. If you find the goal is to dump a large amount of data on the audience, it’s time to rethink if a presentation is the right thing.

Easy, but uncomfortable.

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