Who decides what you’re talking about in your presentation? Are you responsible for your own material, or do you have other people making suggestions and inserting content?
I am working with an incredible client right now. She is a powerhouse. She’s extremely knowledgable and capable, and she runs a huge organization inside a global company.
She sent me a video of a presentation she delivered recently. Watching it, I got a great sense of her charisma and personality, as well as her confidence and experience.
Then it happened. Her volume dropped, her eyes cut away, and she swallowed half her sentence, throwing away those words. It was totally unlike everything else she had done, so I asked: what happened in this segment of your presentation? Did someone else write that part?
Yes. Her boss had made a suggestion of something to add to her speech, and she did her best to incorporate it, even though it was not her style and threw off her flow.
It’s what I call a speed bump. You’re cruising along, doing a great job, and now you spy the speed bump up in the next block. Knowing it’s there is a preoccupation, and to navigate it you have to slow down and think about getting over it. It impedes your flow. It’s an obstacle. If it were up to you, the speed bump wouldn’t be there.
Now, I’m not saying you should tell your boss you won’t use their suggestions! However, be intentional in how you incorporate them into the rest of your material. Does what they want you to say sound like you? Can you rephrase it to blend into the rest of the content? Can you suggest that the chart/example/story they want you to include come at the optimum place for your structure and flow?
Whatever you choose to do, don’t ignore the speed bump.