While reading a book by Haruki Murakami on running and writing, a sort of memoir of the importance of running in the author’s personal an professional life, I came across the following description on how he prepares himself for international presentations in English language:
“Naturally it takes a lot of time to prepare. Before I get up on stage I have to memorize a thirty- or forty-minute talk in English. If you just read a written speech as is, the whole thing will feel lifeless to the audience. I have to choose words that are easy to pronounce so people can understand me , and remember to get the audience to laugh to put them at ease. I have to convey to those listening a sense of who I am. Even if it’s just for a short time, I have to get the audience on my side if I want them to listen to me. And in order to do that, I have to practice the speech over and over, which takes a lot of effort. But there’s also the payoff that comes with that new challenge”. [from What I talk about when I talk about running, page 101]
Murakami expresses some key issues of a succesful presentation.
- You have to give life to the presentation (it is not only about the content)
- It’s not so important how intelligent you are or brilliant the content is if people cannot understand you. The presentation IS FOR THE AUDIENCE, not to make the speaker’s ego bigger
- You have to be yourself, and try to transmit it. It is important that YOU are giving a speech and not someone else. So how is it different? What added value do you provide? If the speaker is not important he becomes replaceable
- Practice, practice, practice…. there are no secrets for giving a successful presentation but practice
Note: the links to What I talk about when I talk about running on Amazon.com on this article contain my Amazon associate referral link which allows this website to earn some money when you buy the book through it. This helps pay the hosting space ^_^ )