A Powerful Trick In Preparing For Great Presentations

"Begin with the end in mind." - Stephen R.Covey


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“Begin with the end in mind.”
– Stephen R.Covey 

I remember as a young executive in a multi-national admiring the way a colleague of mine
presented to the top executives in the business.

She was younger than me but she acted as if she had more experience, and she usually aced
her presentations with composure, confidence and clear messaging.

I was discovering new information about mental habits in relation to performance and was
curious if she was aware of the information.

When I brought it up at a coffee break she laughed out loud, berating me for believing in that
‘psycho babble/mumbo jumbo’. She assured me she never visualised anything in advance of
presentations and furthermore that she didn’t believe in any of that ‘mind stuff’.

That certainly put my tail between my legs and caused me a lot of confusion. Was the
research I was reading wrong?

The next day, my colleague appeared beside me at the coffee break and asked for a word in
private. As we sat in the corner, she was smiling and apologising.

She went on to tell me that she was preparing for a presentation to the CEO of the business
the previous afternoon when she stopped frozen.

She had become aware of something playing in her mind that she had never noticed before.
And in a flash she realised that she did the same approach for many areas of her work and
life. She just hadn’t been consciously aware of it until I’d asked.

What was she doing?

She was imagining herself doing the presentation, feeling in control, confident and seeing
real engagement with the executives in the room. And to top it off, she saw herself finishing
the presentation and the people in the room being so impressed that they gave her a standing ovation!

She told me that she had never received a standing ovation but it always made her feel
amazing and had realised that it had incentivised her to prepare for the best presentation

She was flabbergasted that she was doing this almost at an unconscious level, and especially
because she had never been told to do it, had never read about it, but her mind had obviously
decided to do it – because it worked!

This was the confirmation I was looking for. Here was someone who was an achiever telling
me that they actually did what the research was finding.

People who are achievers in certain areas all have certain mental habits. And usually they are
unconscious i.e. they’re not aware of them. Indeed, I’ve found that quite a few ‘high
achievers’ make fun of the mental game as they don’t realise what they’re doing mentally.
And it’s actually quite easy to show them where they think differently to many people.

One of the key mental habits to achieving better performance in any field is to spend time
imagining the desired end result as if it’s already happened.

What’s your approach to presentations, public speaking or sales pitches? Most people have
terrible fears of speaking in public. Check your mind to see what it’s playing in the projector
before key events. What you play in your mind matters for everything.


ps – If you enjoyed this insight, I’ll be sharing more at my talk in Dublin tomorrow
Details below.
Evening Talk on 28th March in Dublin (last tickets available): Book here.

Many years ago someone asked me a question that looking back, completely changed
everything for me – in a good way.

The question was:

What do you think has the biggest impact on your success and enjoyment in life?

At the time I gave a different answer to the one I do today.

As I write this, I have 25 years experience across 50 industries, and the past 16 have been
working with people to achieve their goals (often dreams).

I realise that there are many things that impact on your success. Skills, knowledge,
communication, learning, people, mentors, courage, timing, the market and so on.

But in my experience if one thing isn’t right, nothing else will really work.

And if it isn’t right you definitely can’t fully enjoy your success if and when it comes.
To me the answer to the above question, is your mind. 

If you’re a regular reader of my weekly mails, you’ll know that I’m a big believe in the
power of your mind. That’s because I’ve seen first hand in my own life and that of the people
I work with (in business, life and sport) what amazing things can happen when you get your
mind in the right zone. And also the dangerous things that can happen when it isn’t.
I also believe the area of the mind is hugely mis-understood and over-complicated.

Yet we do need to understand it because it’s key to enjoying real success on our terms.

  • Business
  • Relationships
  • Confidence
  • Peace of Mind
  • Sport
  • Health
  • Enjoyment
  • Creativity and Innovation

I’m holding a talk in Dublin on Tuesday the 28th March titled ‘State Of Mind –
Understanding The Key To Better Results And A Better Life’.

It’ll be 90 minutes of insights and transformative learnings that will make a very positive
impact on anyone who attends. All details and booking facility here. Tickets only €27.
Limited seating.