Build the Ditches – Presenting starts before the Reign of your success by Em Lovs

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Build the ditches and the rain will come, believe that the rain will come…..

As a human race, I often believe wholeheartedly that we present at our best at around the ages of 4 or 5.  Have you ever stood with a child in a toy store explaining to you how much they have always loved this toy, how this toy will enrich their lives, how this toy will be a game-changer and even provide Mummy and Daddy with a little peace and quiet (once the batteries have been removed of course)?  The passion with which the child presents their needs is joyous to see, they have no doubt in their minds as to the play value that their desire and lust will bring.  They believe wholeheartedly that in a store full of wonderments, variations, colors, and styles, this one single doll, truck, or Lego set will be THE game changer. 

Have you ever watched a child present to their Grandparents a step-by-step recount of their recent ballet recital, or every gift they received for Christmas, the smiles on their faces and the passion in their step?

Or their belief in Magic.  My Lady Buttercup has a magic wand, she presented it to me with a gleeful spring in her step.  “Mummy look a wand, it can do magic see, swoosh swoosh”…. A smile came across my face, a little glint in my eye of her belief that this broken dirty old twig, defunct of any leaves or life was actually the most powerful magic wand in the world to Buttercup.  I halted my immediate response of asking her to throw the dirty old twig back into the garden and instead played her game.  Little did I know that several weeks on, “Twiggy the Wand” would take permanent residence next to the toothpaste.  I pray that one day its powers may work, and the lid will magically go back on the toothpaste.

Somewhere we lose this…. Somehow

In schools, teachers attempt to reignite presenting skills with school plays, more recitals, team projects that are presented to the class, and debating clubs.  Presenting becomes humdrumness, a place of competitiveness and “she didn’t work as hard as I did”, or “he was too busy picking his nose”. 

Parents further attempt to help, often unknowingly, build presentation skills with their teens, enlisting their children in band camps, or asking the teen to justify why they need the $200 Nike trainers when the $25 ones in Walmart look virtually the same. 

So after all of this natural experience as part of becoming a grown-up, why do we lose the nerve to present?  To present our passion, to present what we believe in, and to present options and information to others.  The answer lies in “No”.  No, you can’t have the 6ft life-size Buzz Light year with real lasers, no you can’t have the cheese sandwiches cut into squares when they are already cut into triangles.  No, you can not stay up past midnight, no you can not have those trainers.  But even worse, you lose the debate finals, you don’t get any recognition for those times you stood in front of the whole class to present your ideas, or “You weren’t as good as Jane”.  What would happen if teachers and parents said “yes” more often to a well-rounded presentation from their child? Or was affirmed for a good attempt at reasoning? 

Adulthood comes and usually, we become more reserved about presenting our ideas, dreams, and thoughts, we start to deny and belittle our own voice as being silly or unworthy. 

We compare ourselves to those giants around us, standing at their ankles declining their continual invitation to stand on their shoulders.  Fear comes in, and the darkness spreads in negative self-talk.

A little while ago “Fred” came to me asking for guidance with his presentation skills.  He had been in his business for many years as a distributor so knew the business inside out, but never really had much success with recruitment.  I asked him to pitch me over a video call.  He started with an “ummmmmmm” in the presentation and fumbled his way through.  I listened intently and asked relative questions sensitively.  Frustrated for him, he was clearly wracked with anxiety and self-doubt as his voice turned into a drab monotone and could have been drowned out by a breeze in the trees.  Afterward, I sent him a note. 

“Freddy you are wonderful, you are so passionate about your business, and you are loved by all those who grace your path.  Freddy, I admire your strength and loyalty to your business and your chatty nature on social media on other people’s content.  You are genuinely warm and compassionate.  Have faith in who you are, and the presenting will follow:

Passion: be passionate about your business and smile

Prepare: study every common objection to your business and know every point of the comp plan

Purpose: remember your why, why you are a leader, and why you so truly deserve to succeed

Project: project your voice over the screen or to the back of the room, your voice deserves to be heard

And most of all Freddy, have the belief that you are just as great and powerful as any of the giants in your game, build the ditch around your village in the season of drought, and believe wholeheartedly that your reign will come. 

Next time you present, before you start, close your eyes and imagine your kid at Christmas time and how passionate and powerfully he presents that he needs that toy, your prospects need your business as much as Max needs Buzz”. Em Lovs xx

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