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I recall with dread the many times I was positioned backstage or seated at a table close to the stage waiting for my name to be called to present. I could hear the introducer reading my bio and suddenly, “Ta Da!” – here she is Mari Pat Varga… I would bound onto the stage full of energy but I could instantly tell that my audience wasn’t quite there with me yet. They had already heard a bunch of other speakers and now me – someone they really didn’t know from Adam. Because of that, they spent the first few moments of my presentation checking me out. “Boy, she’s tall…” “I don’t recognize her name…who is she?” “I love that suit but not so crazy about the shoes…” “I hope she’ll be good…”
Can you relate? It’s normal human behavior. When we first meet or see someone we spend a few moments trying to size them up or figure them out. While this may be a normal reaction, it is one I’d rather avoid.
Our goal as presenters is to make a connection with the audience and create a feeling of rapport. There are a few very specific things you can do to avoid what I like to call the “Ta Da Dilemma”.
In my Chicago communication training programs, my students are at first surprised that I like to focus equally on delivery and all that happens leading up to it. It is powerful to discover that you can create the best possible presentation environment for you to succeed and your audience to enjoy. Never again will you have to face the Ta D Dilemma!