Presenting Your Work
Now, presenting your work. A lot of people these days have to present their work, right? And this can be very nerve-racking, but again, the instruction is, prepare, prepare, prepare. Because I think that getting started, even earlier, when we got started with the first lesson here, there's something about getting started and finding your groove that takes some time, so you have to give yourself the time and the space, and so what do you have to do? What do you need to provide for yourself in order to do that properly? And my suggestion, actually, is focus on the very first thing you're going to say and give yourself more focus on that than what's gonna come later, because once you're in the groove and you're talking and you're delivering, then you'll be much better at it, and more comfortable, but it's in the beginning where you might need the most support for yourself. So, rehearse. And when a lot of people rehearse, they rehearse in their head as if that is the same as saying it outl...
oud, but there's something magical, maybe, about being able to say it out loud and hear it out loud and saying, "Oh, no, that doesn't sound right. "Let me not say it that way." So, I find that I can prevent myself from making certain mistakes by saying out loud, the things that I don't wanna say when I'm just rehearsing, so that I have better alternatives later on. Alright, so getting started is really the hardest part. So, warm up. Warm up your voice, warm up your body like an actor would, really, and just focus on making the beginning strong. Now, also, when you're presenting, it can be very unengaging, actually, if you are reading verbatim, right? So that's why talking points are important. Instead of reading something in a very stilted way, so that's where the rehearsal comes through. Also, you have to know what your talking points represent, and use whatever aids you need to present. So, it could be an iPad, it could be actual paper, it could be a confidence monitor, it could be anything that you need to make yourself more comfortable and practice with that, and, when you're in the moment actually presenting, focus on someone friendly, right? Either someone you know or someone who's smiling, right? Kenna's smiling at me is really easy to focus on her. All of these people are actually very supportive, so I have no problem presenting to them, and, again, I think if you imagine that they're there, and they're judgemental, and they're critical of you, that's probably not what's actually happening even if it's your boss, even if it's your team, even if those people don't like you, remember, it has nothing to do with you. That could be just their mental pattern, and you have to step back and just not react to it, alright? So, a little bit more about presenting your work. It's important to pause and ask for questions, so I'll do that now. Any questions about presenting? How many people have experience presenting? Everyone, alright. And do you enjoy presenting? Yes or no? So lots of heads shaking. Okay, what about you, Kenna?
I do. (laughing)
What do you love about it?
Well, I mean, I love just the human interaction, and then holding space for people.
And you know what's interesting about the human interaction, is that when people get nervous, there's no possibility of human interaction, because you almost become like a robot, but if you relax and know that, okay, I'm talking to this person, or I'm talking to this person, then it does make the space for that human interaction. So that's kind of interesting. And then transparency is my last point there. Which means, basically, when you make a mistake, acknowledge it. Don't put the spotlight on it, per se, if no one else has noticed, but be comfortable saying, "Oh, you know what? "That didn't really work. "Let me try it this way." Right? Because I think that's also, that humanness is what allows people to connect with you, and I think people wanna be there in the moment with you, and if they feel like you're just repeating something you've said over and over and over, they will disengage. They will feel it, so there's something about making a mistake, being a little human, correcting it, acknowledging it, alright, no big deal, and then moving on, that I think creates an environment of connection with a group of people that you're presenting to. Alright, a little bit about presenting your portfolio, because a lot of creatives or technology people have portfolios of work that they need to present, so I suggest presenting it with an eye toward the future, especially if you're looking for a job, or it's a job interview. Then, it's about what you have done, but also what you're looking to do, so emphasize and highlight the things that represent the work that you wanna do more of, and as you're doing that, tell stories about the work. Tell stories about the process you went through, and I'll talk a little bit about case study format, which is telling stories about the process, but that's a nice format to present your portfolio in, and I suggest having something tangible, whether it's on your iPad or an actual book, which doesn't happen much these days, but always bring it. Don't assume you know, "Oh, they've already seen it online," or, "Oh, they're not gonna be interested," or, "Oh, we won't have time for that." Don't make that assumption. Just always err on the side of generosity, and bring your portfolio, and if you don't end up showing it or talking about it because they just, you're having already a great conversation, then don't worry about it, but you have it in your back pocket.