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Why Passion Is An Essential Ingredient For Captivating Presentations (And How To Have It!)

Why Passion Is An Essential Ingredient For Captivating Presentations (And How To Have It!)

Have you ever wondered why a stamp collector can give a presentation to a crowd? Hint: It’s not necessarily because stamp collecting is riveting. It is because the speaker has so much passion that they make a rare find sound like walking on the moon.

Have you ever wondered why your well-prepared and factual presentations elicit nothing but polite yawns and a few high scores in Candy Crush? It is often because, despite all your hard work, you could not translate your love for your subject through the slides.

A presentation usually falls into two categories. It is either a great chance for a power nap or it becomes the most inspiring part of the day. To take your audience from lightly dozing to vigorously applauding, you need one thing: passion.

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It is not a secret that the things that you are best at are the things that you are passionate about. But beyond this, the things that you find so interesting are often the things that you can sell to other people if you put your mind to it. Chances are, you do sell something you love every day when you recommend books, movies, and restaurants to friends and family. But, delivering a passionate presentation goes beyond giving a talk that gives people a shot at staying awake. It allows people to buy into what you are saying. When you connect with your audience emotionally, they are more likely to remember the message of your talk.

It is one thing to understand that you need to be passionate on stage. It is another thing to make it happen. Follow these three tips for creating passionate and powerful presentations on whatever it is that you love.

Tell a Story

People cannot connect with facts, figures, and numbers when you spout them verbally. To get people to engage with your presentation, you need to put your passion to good use and turn your data into a narrative.

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The narrative is in there somewhere, even if the company or sector you are talking about isn’t the most exciting. The things you are talking about started out one way, changed somehow, and arrived at the present day in a linear way. What you need to do is turn that into a story that grabs people. Then, at the very least, the audience knows where they are and how they got there.

Storytelling is about more than just the story. It is in how you tell it. You do not need to infantilize your audience by pretending it’s story hour. You also do not need to exaggerate events by jumping up and down on the stage. Instead, let your emotions run through naturally. The best kind of storytelling comes from convincing acting that not only showcases your real feelings but lets the audience reach their own.

Don’t Hide Behind Your PowerPoint

Your PowerPoint is a prop. It is a tool that you use to give your audience something to look at. It is a nice place to put important facts, quotes, or charts. It is also a handy place to illustrate your jokes. But, your PowerPoint is not your presentation.

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Too many people use their PowerPoint as a crutch rather than a prop. It is tempting to read directly from your presentation when you are nervous. But, instead of relying on your visual aids, free yourself from them.

The best way to do this is to make a minimalist PowerPoint. Include only the most essential points of your presentation so that you and the audience can refer to them when necessary. When you do not have your whole presentation written out on the screen, there is no way you can rely on it.

When you use your slideshow as an aid, you have more room to connect with your audience through your speech. You may even end up improvising. This is not a bad thing. It may be that your improvisation turns out to be the most important part of your presentation.

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Act Like You Know It All

When you are passionate about something, you probably know a lot more about it than you realize. Instead of acting like you are moderately excited about something you’re interested in, act like you are the king of your presentation.

When you use your passion to create confidence, it is not only easier for your audience to believe in you but for you to believe in you. This will have an effect that results not only in a great presentation but in a great life and career as well.

Passion is the key to baking a soufflé and to giving a great presentation. If you can harness your own passion, you can turn your next talk into a crowd-pleasing attraction.

Featured photo credit: NASA Goddard via flickr.com

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Published on May 4, 2021

How To Spot Fake People (And Ways To Deal With Them)

How To Spot Fake People (And Ways To Deal With Them)

They say we are the average of the five persons we spend the most time with. For a minute, consider the people around you. Are they truly who your “tribe” should be or who you aspire to become in the future? Are they really genuine people who want to see you succeed? Or are they fake people who don’t really want to see you happy?

In this article, I’ll review why it is important to surround yourself with genuine individuals—the ones who care, bring something to our table, and first and foremost, who leave all fakeness behind.

How to Spot Fake People?

When you’ve been working in the helping professions for a while, spotting fake people gets a bit easier. There are some very clear signs that the person you are looking at is hiding something, acting somehow, or simply wanting to get somewhere. Most often, there is a secondary gain—perhaps attention, sympathy, or even a promotion.

Whatever it is, you’re better off working their true agenda and staying the hell away. Here are some things you should look out for to help spot fake people.

1. Full of Themselves

Fake people like to show off. They love looking at themselves in the mirror. They collect photos and videos of every single achievement they had and every part of their body and claim to be the “best at what they do.”

Most of these people are actually not that good in real life. But they act like they are and ensure that they appear better than the next person. The issue for you is that you may find yourself always feeling “beneath” them and irritated at their constant need to be in the spotlight.

2. Murky in Expressing Their Emotions

Have you ever tried having a deep and meaningful conversation with a fake person? It’s almost impossible. It’s because they have limited emotional intelligence and don’t know how they truly feel deep down—and partly because they don’t want to have their true emotions exposed, no matter how normal these might be.

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It’s much harder to say “I’m the best at what I do” while simultaneously sharing “average” emotions with “equal” people.

3. Zero Self-Reflection

To grow, we must accept feedback from others. We must be open to our strengths and to our weaknesses. We must accept that we all come in different shapes and can always improve.

Self-reflection requires us to think, forgive, admit fault, and learn from our mistakes. But to do that, we have to be able to adopt a level of genuineness and depth that fake people don’t routinely have. A fake person generally never apologizes, but when they do, it is often followed with a “but” in the next breath.

4. Unrealistic Perceptions

Fake people most often have an unrealistic perception of the world—things that they want to portray to others (pseudo achievements, materialistic gains, or a made-up sense of happiness) or simply how they genuinely regard life outside themselves.

A lot of fake people hide pain, shame, and other underlying reasons in their behavior. This could explain why they can’t be authentic and/or have difficulties seeing their environment for the way it objectively is (both good and bad).

5. Love Attention

As I mentioned earlier, the biggest sign that something isn’t quite right with someone’s behavior can be established by how much they love attention. Are you being interrupted every time you speak by someone who wants to make sure that the spotlight gets reverted back to them? Is the focus always on them, no matter the topic? If yes, you’re probably dealing with a fake person.

6. People Pleaser

Appreciation feels nice but having everyone like you is even better. While it is completely unrealistic for most people to please everyone all the time, fake people seem to always say yes in pursuit of constant approval.

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Now, this is a problem for two reasons. Firstly, these people are simply saying yes to things for their own satisfaction. Secondly, they often end up changing their minds or retracting their offer for one reason or another (“I would have loved to, but my grandmother suddenly fell ill.”), leaving you in the lurch for the 100th time this year.

7. Sarcasm and Cynicism

Behind the chronic pasted smile, fake people are well known for brewing resentment, jealousy, or anger. This is because, behind the postcard life, they are often unhappy. Sarcasm and cynicism are well known to act as a defense mechanism, sometimes even a diversion—anything so they can remain feeling on top of the world, whether it is through boosting themselves or bringing people down.

8. Crappy friend

Fake people are bad friends. They don’t listen to you, your feelings, and whatever news you might have to share. In fact, you might find yourself migrating away from them when you have exciting or bad news to share, knowing that it will always end up one way—their way. In addition, you might find that they’re not available when you truly need them or worse, cancel plans at the last minute.

It’s not unusual to hear that a fake person talks constantly behind people’s backs. Let’s be honest, if they do it to others, they’re doing it to you too. If your “friend” makes you feel bad constantly, trust me, they’re not achieving their purpose, and they’re simply not a good person to have around.

The sooner you learn to spot these fake people, the sooner you can meet meaningful individuals again.

How to Cope With Fake People Moving Forward?

It is important to remind yourself that you deserve more than what you’re getting. You are worthy, valuable, precious, and just as important as the next person.

There are many ways to manage fake people. Here are some tips on how to deal with them.

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1. Boundaries

Keep your boundaries very clear. As explained in the book Unlock Your Resilience, boundaries are what keep you sane when the world tries to suffocate you. When fake people become emotional vampires, make sure to keep your distances, limit contact, and simply replace them with more valuable interactions.

2. Don’t Take Their Behavior Personally

Sadly, they most likely have behaved this way before they knew you and will continue much longer after you have moved on. It isn’t about you. It is about their inner need to meet a void that you are not responsible for. And in all honesty, unless you are a trained professional, you are unlikely to improve it anyway.

3. Be Upfront and Honest About How You Feel

If your “friend” has been hurtful or engaged in behaviors you struggle with, let them know—nicely, firmly, however you want, but let them know that they are affecting you. If it works, great. If it doesn’t, you’ll feel better and when you’re ready to move on, you’ll know you tried to reach out. Your conscience is clear.

4. Ask for Advice

If you’re unsure about what you’re seeing or feeling, ask for advice. Perhaps a relative, a good friend, or a colleague might have some input as to whether you are overreacting or seeing some genuine concerns.

Now, don’t confuse asking for advice with gossiping behind the fake person’s back because, in the end, you don’t want to stoop down to their level. However, a little reminder as to how to stay on your own wellness track can never hurt.

5. Dig Deeper

Now, this one, I offer with caution. If you are emotionally strong, up to it, guaranteed you won’t get sucked into it, and have the skills to manage, perhaps you could dig into the reasons a fake person is acting the way they do.

Have they suffered recent trauma? Have they been rejected all their lives? Is their self-esteem so low that they must resort to making themselves feel good in any way they can? Sometimes, having an understanding of a person’s behavior can help in processing it.

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6. Practice Self-Care!

Clearly, putting some distance between the fake person and yourself is probably the way to go. However, sometimes, it takes time to get there. In the meantime, make sure to practice self-care, be gentle with yourself, and compensate with lots of positives!

Self-care can be as simple as taking a hot shower after talking to them or declining an invitation when you’re not feeling up to the challenge.

Spotting fake people isn’t too hard. They generally glow with wanna-be vibes. However, most often, there are reasons as to why they are like this. Calling their behavior might be the first step. Providing them with support might be the second. But if these don’t work, it’s time to stay away and surround yourself with the positivity that you deserve.

Final Thoughts

Remember that life is a rollercoaster. It has good moments, tough moments, and moments you wouldn’t change for the world. So, look around and make sure that you take the time to choose the right people to share it all with.

We are the average of the five people we spend the most time with, so take a good look around and choose wisely!

More Tips on Dealing With Fake People

Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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