Winston Churchill gave it great perspective when he quoted, “It’s no use saying, ‘We are doing our best.’ You have got to succeed in doing what is necessary.” Doing what is necessary is different for everyone, but who determines EXACTLY what’s needed to do what is necessary?
Over the years I’ve concluded that what’s necessary means to, 1. be relentless, 2. be open to change, 3. keep it authentic to who I am. Generally when all three of these elements come together, so does my plan…and that’s usually a good thing.
It’s funny because recently I’ve given two presentations to similar groups and the first felt very ordinary; not a lot of bells and whistles, but solid content that I knew in-side-out and backwards, but it felt flat. The second, I spent so much time on perfecting and massaging that I just knew I’d hit it out of the park with my audience. The affects were exactly opposite on both cases. I was a little surprised, but instead of having my feelings hurt because the audience didn’t connect, I decided to remember that the first presentation was valuable to so many.
Not that you can have a one and one record and expect to succeed, but the point is that you should trust your content when it flows naturally; chances are THAT is the content people will respond to. And given my recent feedback, that theory holds true.
What I learned from this is that trying too hard to please your audience can sometimes take you away from who you are to the core. Not that you don’t have to work hard on a presentation, but you need to work from the place of confidence that you will deliver your best because what you’re saying and how you’re saying it is as genuine as the heart in your chest. Connecting with your audience in any transaction (presentation, sales pitch, community meeting) should be the utmost important objective, but what you say needs to come from your heart and your hard-working experience.
Ben Franklin said, “Well done is always better than well, said.” I say to Ben, “well said.” The proof is always in the pudding, if you’re telling someone what you’re going to do vs. telling them about what you have done…leading by example is always a better to rally a groups’ loyalty.
Also remember that sometimes what you might think is flat or listless may be very valuable information so don’t ever underestimate the power of what you have to share. As in my case, the presentation I felt less excited about was the one that held the most practical advice for my audience and gave them real-life steps to achieve the same results.
The lesson here? Keeping it simple and sincere just might bring more value to the table for someone who’s genuinely looking for a solution.