You Are The Show

Once you get over the initial fright of doing presentations, I think you should start treating your appearances as “the show”.

I believe ALL presentations are a show. Some speakers speak to inform. Some entertain. Some advocate or persuade. Some highlight and solve a problem.

No matter what kind of presentation, they are all YOUR show. YOU, the speaker, are the show. Not the slides. Not the props or hardware being demoed. Say it with me, “the speaker is the show”.

Anybody can find information about your speech topic on the Web. They want to know how YOU did it. They want to hear YOUR use cases, in person. The audience is there to hear and see something from you, the expert, in the flesh. They are looking for someone to inspire them to take action or give them a direction or make them feel like they belong. They want to feel the passion. They want to feel the emotion. You make that connection while live and on-stage.

The speaker is the one to address all those things and more. You are the show.

Also, what would a show be without some drama, theatrics, and audio/video razzle-dazzle. Start using show biz tools for YOUR show. Being entertaining, while making your point helps the audience feel comfortable and receptive to what you are saying. Make it fun. Make it authentic. Make it loud, or soft, or mysterious, or manic. Have an angle. Have an opinion. Do cool, memorable stuff. They are there to see and hear YOU.

Years ago, I was mortified to hear some of my very capable, senior Toastmaster colleagues tell me that a speech wasn’t a show. Presentations are serious business, they said. Well of course they are! They are still a show. It’s all show business and the sooner you embrace the mindset, the sooner you’ll start to really enjoy the process. I like the spotlight. I like choreographing my presentation. I love to talk to audience members during Q&A and after my show.

Delivering a great show is why speakers find their calling in the trade. I think it’s a noble calling and takes a great deal of time and effort to master. I certainly can improve. We all are constantly honing our craft and pushing ourselves to get better.

Make your next presentation a show and make it the best show possible, for your audience.