Posted on Sep 7th, 2006

When considering how to start your presentation, here is a brief list of “don’ts.” Do not start by apologizing, tapping your microphone, or making a joke. A little measured humor in your presentation is fine, but do not start with a joke. Whether you get laughs or not, this is not stand up comedy routine and can get you “side tracked.”

Start with your objective and a brief bio. For example: “Good morning, I am Paul Jerard. How would you like to walk away from this workshop with six solutions to manage everyday stress?” This puts the audience in a positive frame of mind. They are mentally answering you with a “yes,” even if they don’t verbally say it.

At this point, you can mention a few of your accomplishments. Your accomplishments are the most impressive part of your bio, but please get straight to the point. There is nothing more boring than listening to self-flattery. So, please stick to a few of your very best accomplishments. This builds credibility and explains why you were selected to make a stress management presentation.

You can always list your complete bio in your written materials and “handouts.” Do not make written materials available, until your presentation is over. The reason for this is they serve as a distraction during the actual presentation. We have become a multi-functioning society, but tasks are completed accurately, when we focus on one thing at a time. This is another reason why workers are so “stressed out,” and why so many products or services are sub-standard.

After a brief bio, I follow up with an overview of objectives, as this is why your audience is listening to you. Emphasize solutions and gravitate away from a grievance committee atmosphere, unless management wants grievances to be “aired out.” As you can imagine, management could be the creator of all the work-related stress.

Bear in mind that we have only considered job stress so far. Many people in your audience have unique situations with their families and friends. Therefore, stress, and their reactions to it, are all different.

Make sure that your stress management presentation has an air of mutual respect. If you appear to “look down on the audience,” you will not be able to present solutions effectively. You have to observe the audience at all times, in order to keep the “communication link” open. This is one good reason why you shouldn’t waste your time memorizing a speech.

If you carry cards with you, that’s fine, but you should have “bullet points” on your cards that you fully understand. In this way, you thoroughly know stress management solutions and your speech will be completely natural.

© Copyright 2006 – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications

Paul Jerard is a co-owner and the director of Yoga teacher training at: Aura Wellness Center, in North Providence, RI. He has been a certified Master Yoga teacher since 1995. He is a master instructor of martial arts, with multiple Black Belts, four martial arts teaching credentials, and was recently inducted into the USA Martial Arts Hall of Fame. He teaches Yoga, martial arts, and fitness to children, adults, and seniors in the greater Providence area. Recently he wrote: Is Running a Yoga Business Right for You? For Yoga students, who may be considering a new career as a Yoga teacher.

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