In my last tip I talked about near enough being good enough and in most cases this is true.
- If you are presenting at a company meeting, or a public event, you certainly have to do the work to make that presentation excellent, but it is seldom worthwhile spending hours agonising over tiny details.
However if you want to ‘be the best’ it does require effort.
- It is often said that it takes 10 years or 10,000 hours to become a master at playing a musical instrument or reaching the top level in any sport.
- Even when mastery is achieved high performers don’t stop practicing. Great Musicians play every day, world class sports people train every day.
The best presenters practice every day as well. They may not stand at a lectern or walk a stage every day, but they will be writing, or reviewing a previous performance. According to his private secretary, Winston Churchill would invest one hour of preparation for every minute of speech delivery. And so for a major set piece speech in the House of Commons, running to 45 or 50 minutes, we are talking of 45 or 50 hours of preparation and he was fighting Hitler at the same time.
If you want to achieve a high level, where your presentation is so finely honed that it looks easy and natural, you have to put in the work.
It really is effort that makes it look effortless.