Acknowledge it or not, you too are wearing this sign under your shirt
We love to show off. We love to shine. We love to succeed and share our feelings of success with others. We love to post pictures about our new body, our new car, our vacation to some exotic place. We love to tell the world we've been to an exclusive opera, we've eaten at a high-end restaurant or we've been to a huge party in another part of the world.
We love to brag. We can't help it, it's human nature.
Consider this: most people value themselves "above average" in categories such as intellect, memory, creativity, or ambition. Although this is statistically impossible, it's still a fact.
Whenever we meet somebody, we engage in a curious game called "I'm better than you because…" You might have a sporty body, but I have more money. You might be cuter, but I have more expensive shoes and make-up. I'm smarter than you. I have a better job. My girlfriend/boyfriend is hotter than yours.
We have to feel we have worth. If nothing else, than at least we are better off than the other person. Younger. Smarter. More wealthy. More successful. More, more, more.
We are all egoists. Especially we, presenters.
Presenters are one-of-a-kind, or so we like to think about ourselves. We've faced the mother of all fears (speaking in front of other people), we are thought leaders, we inspire, we influence. We have power over how others think, how others feel, what they do or what they buy. We can reach into their souls and reprogram their feelings like magic.
If we think so, we are amateurs. If we are egoists, we are amateurs.
The human mind cannot concentrate on two things at the same time. Effective multi-tasking is a myth, a fraud, a lie. We cannot concentrate on two things at the same time with the same intense focus. If we have 100% focus, than we cannot magically have 200%. John Medina – a development molecular biologist and author of the New York Times bestseller book Brain Rules – agrees:
"The brain is a sequential processor, unable to pay attention to two things at the same time. Businesses and schools praise multitasking but research clearly shows that it reduces productivity and increases mistakes"
So we cannot concentrate on ourselves and the audience at the same time.
Hence, we can choose to focus on ourselves, or our audience.
If we as presenters only concentrate on ourselves – how our reputation will improve after our presentation, how awesome we will look on the stage, how much fun we will have telling those great stories and showing off our Powerpoint-jutsu –, then we can forget about giving enough attention to our audience.
And of course, the members of the audience don't give a fuck about us. We are all egoists, remember? They only care what we have to offer to them. They don't ask themselves "What's in this speech for this guy on the stage, or the guy next to me" – they ask "What's in this for ME". Even during job interviews, when the other person asks us about ourselves, what he is really looking forward to hear is something about him, something about his company.
We are all egoists. Our audience cares only for themselves. If we want to serve them, if we want to be effective and inspirational to them, if we want to influence them, then we have to give them what they want.
The professional presenter loves her audience and cares for them, because she understands that she is slaving away countless hours for them. As soon as the audience realizes this, they will take good care of the presenter herself.
The professional presenter concentrates only on her audience.
If you really want the best for yourself, drop the attitude. It's simply not worth it.
Lose your egoism. Give your presentation. Change their world.