Why Do I Need to Speak?

You may not give this topic a lot of thought, but I think about it all the time, and I’m going to invite you to take a moment to think about it with me. And it’s the topic of presentations, like giving a presentation. Now, most people have a fear of public speaking, they tell me, “Colleen, I don’t want to be a speaker, I don’t want to go on stages in front of these big audiences.”

I’m not talking about that. Although if you’re interested in that, great, but the reality is that you are a presenter all of the time. Whether that’s presenting information in a conversation in your household or presenting information in your day-to-day job. In fact, I sat in on two separate booster clubs for high school sports, two separate teams, to their meetings to kick off the season.

One of the presentations went really well, the other one not so well. Which booster club do you believe is more successful?

Absolutely, the one that delivered a better presentation! Look, every time you deliver information, you present something, you have a goal on the other side. For the booster club, their goal is to raise as much money as possible to help fund whatever it is they want the sports and the athletes to participate in for the year – whether it’s uniforms, additional buses, or fun activities.

So when they’re presenting at this parent meeting, that’s their goal on the other side, to get as many parents to pay their voluntary team fees, donate money, and participate in fundraisers. And the booster club that had the better presentation was more successful at that. So what are you doing in your role?

Again, whether that’s personal or professional, where do you have to deliver information? It might be a formal presentation, where you’re delivering to senior level executives and you might be thinking, oh, I’m just here to deliver results. No, you have some sort of goal on the other side, whether it’s a personal goal to maybe showcase some of your capabilities, or maybe it’s a company-wide goal, to get these senior executives to say yes to the next step in your project and fund it.

If you’re a leader, when you’re delivering information to your team, you have a goal. It might be that you’ve got to get them to be a little bit more engaged and productive to meet the organization’s quarterly quota. But every time you present, there is a goal on the other side.

So isn’t it worth it to uplevel your presentation skills, even if you don’t believe you’re going to be out there as a public speaker?