When I was working for Tamara Hagen Cons, I remember coming into the office one Monday morning and Dorka, our office manager telling me that Kamilla, one of our bosses had an accident just the day before. She was speeding down the highway on her motorcycle at 90 km/h, when she got a flat tire and she had to "throw the bike away". People do die under similar circumstances. She had excellent gear but any biker would tell you that the faster you go the less your gear will protect you if you get into an accident.
She was lucky. She got away with a few bruises (and possibly with a broken arm, I don't remember for sure). Most people would have taken it easy for the next couple of days, as such a crash might have serious consequences physically as well as mentally.
Not Kamilla. She came to work. On time.
She shared the story, said she was okay, sat down and started working.
Dedication to ones work and ambition to excel were the two thoughts that came into my mind when I'd witnessed this.
There will be times when you're creating a presentation and you hit a wall. The story doesn't feel right, the slides might not really show what you want them to or certain phrases that sounded great don't seem that brilliant anymore. You think, you struggle, you brainstorm with others and the solution still eludes you.
You are ready to give up and deliver the stuff as is. You are ready to take the easy route. You are ready to put the presentation away and not want to do anything with it for days.
That road leads to a "good enough" presentation at the very best and probably a bad presentation at worst that gets you no results and no action from the audience.
Creating presentations that change the world of the audience requires hard work every single day. It's not just the techniques, the story crafting and slide design, or the use of our body language and gestures on the stage. It's also the developing and nurturing of our mindset towards our work.
Great presentations only work if you care so deep for your audience that you decide that they deserve nothing but the best from you. You care for their time, their hopes and dreams, even for their fears. It is only on this level that you can create trust and hence you can influence them to take the desired actions. And this requires the mindset of the professional – a mindset that drives you to do your work every single day no matter what. You might have been in an accident, your significant one might just have walked out on you or you might feel tired, down and uninspired. All that stuff doesn't matter if your attitude towards your work is that of the professional.
See, I firmly believe that Kamilla from the story earlier would have continued doing the work even if she had been taken to the hospital after the accident. That attitude is something that should be taught in every university – but of course you can't teach ambition, you can't teach this mindset. You can only develop it in yourself.
Steven Pressfield says that a professional does the work every day, no matter what.
Do the work, whatever it takes. Give your presentation. Change their world.