Business Presentations – What’s Your Personal Best?

Curious how to find your personal best in business presentations? Follow the lead of star performers and you can achieve greatness too.

Star performers share a single trait: they challenge themselves to always strive for their personal best. Whether in business, sports or the arts, masters are at the top of their game because they never stop seeking to get better.

For a professional role model for performance, consider Michael Jordan. Even if you’re not a basketball fan, Jordan was famous as the top player when he was playing for the Chicago Bulls. How did he stay at the top?

Jordan is known for continuously challenging himself. At the end of each season, word has it that he spent the entire off time picking apart his game. He never stopped looking for weaknesses, and how to get his game better.

The same goes for great painters, filmmakers, actors and dancers. Great stars work hard — and never stop. Find a personal role model and look further than your business, industry or professional area of expertise. Look to the arts, sports, and entertainment.

Who is your role model for inspiration?

While you may not have celebrity status in your industry, you can do the same practices. Set your own personal standards and never stop raising the bar.

Use these 3 tips to continuously dissolve obstacles and seek out your unique personal best.

Tip 1: Don’t Settle

Good is good. But it’s not great. Don’t settle for second or third when you could be first. Go for being the very best at what you do. The single trait that characterizes winners is never stopping or settling for “OK” performances.

A simple way to do this: after every single presentation ask yourself: what could I do better? Keep a journal. After every presentation, record your ideas and reflections. In the next presentation, adapt your delivery to include a specific improvement.

Tip 2: Invest in Learning

The single trait that marks leaders: investing in learning. Learning is a lifelong process — if you are committed to be the best you can be. You don’t have to be perfect or know everything right now. In fact, you will never know absolutely everything.

However, you can grow your skills and dramatically improve your ability to convince, influence and persuade.

Great performers know that learning takes many forms. Reading, studying, watching videos are all key components in a living plan for learning.

In addition to self-study, learn with teammates, mentors and coaches. One-on-one instruction is particularly helpful for interactive skills, such as facilitative presentation skills. An expert coach can show you new skills in seconds, which would never be obvious in weeks of reading.

Shoulder to shoulder instruction is often the fastest and smartest way to improve interpersonal skills. This type of coaching is also possible with direct contact with an expert coach – either in person or virtually.

With advances in technology, video feedback with an expert coach is a cost effective and quick way to get personal attention and immediately advance your skills. Consider personal presentation coaching as a smart option if you are serious about finding your personal best.

Tip 3: Make Mistakes!

The key in being the best is to encourage experimentation and accept failure. It sounds like a contradiction. But it’s not.

When you make mistakes, you learn. Plus, your learning is personal. It’s a visceral experience that no one can challenge or take away. You know in your gut — because you have lived through it.

The important things about mistakes:

First, fail fast.

Make mistakes quickly so you can solve problems. Push the edge to find out what does work – and what doesn’t.

Second, make new mistakes.

Don’t make the same mistake twice. By making different mistakes, you will quickly raise your personal standards.

Third, keep records.

Keep track of what you learn. Notice patterns and notice what works. This is absolutely essential if you are serious about achieving your personal best.

With these three tips you have a treasure map to the hidden land: your home-zone of best.

What do you notice? Your peak performance is always changing. It’s not a static zone of set standards and repeated behavior. Instead, it’s a living land in dynamic flux. By keeping your skills fresh you are constantly moving forward and finding your own greatness.

Develop your personal best presentation skills by constantly challenging yourself and working with a coach. With one-on-one feedback you can quickly find out how to win at presenting.