Presenting a project that you don’t like can often be torture. It’s already bad enough that presenting is hardly a preference for most of us, if in addition it is necessary to talk about a subject that doesn’t inspire us, that takes the cake!
Whether you have to present at the request of a boss, to talk about the project of an absent colleague, or to sell a product or service you don’t believe in, the fact remains the same: you’re presenting because you don’t have a choice.
We have all lived through this moment when chickening out is not an option, where we find ourselves removed, trying to defend someone else’s ideas. And it is inevitably frustrating to speak under these conditions. Of course, we present without conviction, trying to do what the person we’re replacing would have done and muddling through slides that we would not have used.
If unfortunately, there is no miracle recipe for believing in a project that we didn’t choose, there are still some options for remaining sincere and committed to our task. Here are three tips you can use to make the exercise a little less painful.
Refocus on your audience
Admittedly, you’re in an unpleasant situation but it’s not a reason to make your audience pay the price. And, if instead of focusing on yourself and your negative feelings, you paid more attention to your audience and their feelings? After all, it’s not their fault that you don’t like the project. The audience is present and expecting a lot from you.
Ask yourself a simple question: What do they expect of me? Thinking about the audience and how to make yourself useful will allow you to open new perspectives, and find another more positive angle of approach, even to discover aspects of the project that your preconceptions didn’t allow you to see up until now.
Learn to structure your remarks
Since the subject you’re dealing with doesn’t interest you, you have all the good reasons not to spend time on it. But that’s a mistake. Even though the ideas are not yours, the story you are going to tell belongs to you. Take the time to prepare your speech and structure it like a story You will then be more at ease and enjoy telling a story that you wrote, rather than presenting an obligatory series of information. And your audience will thank you!
Work on your technique
We are always less comfortable defending the ideas of others. This is an opportunity to work on your technique! Like an actor ready to get into the role of a new character, it is up to you to “do the job.” Take the opportunity to rehearse your speech. Film yourself and ask someone you trust for feedback. Find the right pitch for your voice, work your posture, and don’t forget that sincerity is not the truth, but the expression of what seems useful and important for you to say.