Preparation for Your Presentations by Jim Rohn
Persistence in your presentations, this is one secret to success. After my first presentation, I got up and did it again. Even though I was scared to death, I did it again. And that second one wasn’t too good. But guess what? I did it again, and I did it again. And I worked up my courage, and I did it again. I committed to it, and I did it again. And finally, it got to be a little bit easier. I got a little more acquainted with the art of presenting. So have something good to say in your presentations. Preparation for your presentations, this is another key aspect. Here are some words to help you in preparation.
To prepare to have something good to say, keep a keen interest in life and people. Don’t let your senses go dull here. Guess what most people are trying to do—get THROUGH the day. Here is what I am asking this unusual audience to do—get FROM the day. Get from the day a clear picture of the drama of human life. Some doing is right, some doing is wrong. Some gathering in, and some throwing it away. Some building reputations, and some letting it all slide.
Get from the day what is happening in politics. Read the newspapers. Read the magazines. Find out what’s going on. Get from the periodicals. Get from what’s happening. Get from your job. Get from your career. Get from the people around you. What is happening in the community? Get from all of that. The positive side and the negative side.
My parents used to say, “Attend everything.” Some things are so costly that they might be out of reach for a while. Andrea Bocelli came to Beverly Hills. Guess what the tickets cost? $2,500 for a two-hour performance. That is pretty good pay. So some things might be out of reach, but whatever you can go to, get to. Save up the money and go, so that you will be more aware of what is going on around you.
Keep up that interest in people. Why do they do what they do? How come things are happening today that didn’t happen thirty years ago?
Now the next word is fascination. Be fascinated with life and people and drama that is live and in color every day. Cinemascope. Fascination goes a little bit beyond interest. Interested people want to know, Does it work? Fascinated people want to know, How does it work?
Kids have this unique ability to learn several languages in a six-, seven-year period, and the reason is because they are so fascinated. They are so interested. They are so curious. Kids have to know, and that is how the drama of their learning takes on such speed in a fairly short period of time, because of this unusual interest and fascination and curiosity. We’re walking on ants, and kids are studying them. They say, “Don’t walk on those ants. I’m studying them.” How come an ant can carry something bigger than they are? That is a good question. They must be unbelievably strong if they can carry something bigger than they are.
Here is something else I’ve learned. To be fascinated instead of frustrated. It is just a little trick to play. The next time you’re tempted to be frustrated, see if you can’t turn it into fascination. Instead of a frown, it puts a smile on your face. Now sometimes you look a little weird, but so be it. He says, “How can he smile?” I don’t know. He must be somebody different.
Babe Ruth, home run king back in the old days of baseball, used to strike out and come back to the bench smiling. They used to say, “Babe, you just struck out. How can you smile?” “I’m just that much closer to my next home run. Just stick around. It won’t be long. One will be sailing over the fence.” So find things fascinating instead of frustrating. Just try it. I’ve learned how to do it. Now make this note. It doesn’t work every time. Nothing works every time, but every time you can get it to work, guess what? It will benefit your day. You’ll get more from it. You’ll be fascinated instead of frustrated.
Now I’ve also learned the ultimate. I’m fascinated by my own frustration. How come it doesn’t take me long to lose it on occasion? It must be from my father’s side. My mother was a gentle soul. Just find it all fascinating. I’ve talked to a lot of the network marketing companies over the years, and I give them that little clue. Somebody joins and you think they’re going to stay forever, and they leave right away. You have to say, “Isn’t that interesting?” And someone you thought would never make it, sure enough they become superstars. You have to say, “Isn’t that interesting?” You say, “I thought they’d stay forever, they don’t stay. Isn’t that interesting? I didn’t think they’d do anything, look what they’re doing. Isn’t that interesting?”
So that is a good phrase. Find it interesting. Find it fascinating. Wow, I never thought that would happen. I had another picture in mind. Wow! Was I ever wrong. And it’s good sometimes to be wrong on the positive side. I didn’t think it was going to work, and it worked. “What if somebody doesn’t look at your business opportunity?” Say, “What if they do?” It doesn’t take much to turn the question around. “What if they won’t join after they look?” “What if they do?” “What if they join and don’t stay? What if they quit after three months?” But I’ve got a better question, “What if they do stay?”
So sometimes there are little tricks you can play to give yourself a different look. Somebody could either stay or leave, and wouldn’t it be better to assume that they would stay, and then if they leave, say, “Isn’t that interesting?” I have learned to do that with myself. “Wow! Look what I did. Isn’t that interesting? Wow! I thought I was going to behave better. Wow! I lost it. Isn’t that interesting? I thought for sure that wasn’t going to bother me. Sure enough, I thought I had a handle on this. Looks like I’ve got some work to do.” Find yourself fascinating and interesting as you journey through life. Give yourself a chance.
Now here is the next word that is very important if you want to be a good communicator, and that is sensitivity. Be sensitive to someone’s drama and trouble and difficulty. As you contemplate your own, now you can be sensitive to someone else’s. And there is no better way to be helpful than to do your best to try and understand. Here is the old phrase we’ve heard, so let’s jot it down this time. “Learn to walk in someone’s shoes for a while. Try to understand where they are.” How come they’re in this dilemma? Maybe it’s something I don’t know. I don’t understand. How come this person is losing his temper when he should keep it? Who knows what might have happened the last three weeks. I don’t know. Let’s give somebody room by trying to understand.
Be sensitive to someone lashing out and being difficult at the same time. Hey! We can handle that. We don’t have to retaliate and fight back. Can’t we say, “Maybe there’s a good reason this person behaves in this way.” That is an easier way. Sensitivity. Trying to understand. Trying to comprehend the full drama of human experience. One of the greatest phrases in the Bible, “Blessed are the peacemakers.” Guess what a peacemaker is? Someone who you hope is around when the conflict could be resolved. Someone who understands both sides and brings them together. Say, “I know you’ve got some animosity, but now that you’ve fought and that didn’t settle it, couldn’t we get together and reason this whole thing out?”
So in times of conflict, we look for a peacemaker. And the peacemaker has to understand both sides of the issue. Say, “I understand your dilemma, and I can see where you’re coming from, and I can understand why you said what you said when you said what you said. But hey! Isn’t there a better way? Couldn’t we find a better way to settle it all?” And that is what we are looking for.
Parents have to learn to be peacemakers when there are two sides to an issue and maybe neither one is that far wrong. But to try to settle it; we have to understand both sides. We have to understand the feelings on both sides, and that kind of sensitivity gives us a wonderful opportunity to grow, so that we can communicate and our words will be meaningful. Then the test comes, and the drama comes and the time comes to step up and speak or to sit down and speak or to be quiet and speak or to be loud and speak. Whatever that might call for, we’ll be prepared if we do have a genuine understanding. So preparation in all areas of life is so vital to your success. Don’t be lazy in preparing; don’t be lazy in laying the groundwork that will make all of the difference in how your life turns out.