The Power of Preparation
People of all ages and across all industries are getting one constant message – preparation is important. It is a clear message that great minds have agreed is valuable advice, but why is preparation still not practiced routinely?
For some, there is a misconception that has incorrectly made people believe that those who prepare come across as “unnatural”. They do not want to appear to be stiff, so they draft something out and decide to fill in the blanks as they go along. Their approach is to “wing-it”. For others preparation is simply a lot of work. It takes time, energy and focus to adequately prepare and it is a painful process. No one likes pain, so it becomes easier to avoid preparation and find shortcuts instead.
How can a routine delivery benefit from repeated preparation? Because correct preparation helps you focus on your audience, who they are and what they need. You may know the content like the back of your hand, but every room of people will be different, and when you prepare it allows you to focus in on the communication and clearly see your objectives and goals for this room of participants.
What about projects or presentations that are new and being delivered the first time. Preparation seems like a given in this scenario, but often far too many people neglect to prepare because it’s hard. They look at the task at hand and begin to feel anxious and intimidated and find they are overwhelmed with what needs to be done. They shut down and decide to not do any preparation at all. They too, will decide to “wing-it”.
Whatever your feelings on preparation may be, one thing is certain – if you fail to prepare, you will always, 100% of the time, have a less than optimal outcome. This does not mean you are an inexperienced speaker or your skill set isn’t up to par. Rather some of the most renowned speakers and experts are the ones who rely on a foundation of preparation. Even people who have delivered the same content over and over again realize that preparation is needed every time you are required to deliver because it is always a value-added activity.
If you value your audiences time and want to ensure you are adding value to what you deliver, you will make preparation part of your process. Remember it is not about you and how you look or what you will gain – it is about the audience and what they deserve and expect. When you truly understand the art of preparation is when you truly find appreciation for your audience.