PRESENT TO SUCCEED LESSONS LEARNED

The Mindful Behaviors of an Exceptional Presenter by Peter Hopwood

Peter Hopwood is a global speaking, pitch & storytelling coach, communicator, confidence-booster & connector. He helps presenters and high-performing professionals, corporate teams, TEDx speakers, and startups to build public speaking and presence skills and tell better stories.

Peter was one of the speakers in our first edition of Present to Succeed where he described the key characteristics of presenters who are remarkable in their presence when speaking.

His session focused on the subtle ideas and behaviors that can help you better communicate your message, build a deeper connection with your audience, and feel more in control when presenting.

Intrigue

Peter aroused the curiosity of his audience by beginning his presentation using cards against the screen. He explained that they are simple messages but put in that sliding way instead of a slide deck, they are more intriguing.

Listening and the power of your voice was something Peter emphasized.

Peter introduced his topic by noting that controlling your mind and how you feel is essential before implementing anything else learned from the previous conference sessions. Your words, movements, and intentions are all shaped by your thinking.

Mastering these concepts can assist you in putting your mind in the correct frame and moving ahead as a speaker and presenter.

Embrace the unpredictable

The first concept to consider is accepting unpredictability. The problem is that we have no idea what will happen. We have a lot of questions, but there are so few answers. Some individuals succumb to the uncertainty, while others say, “Hey, this is what happened, and I have no control over it. Just like you, I have no idea what will happen. But I’m okay with it.”

This is a concept from everyday living, but it also applies to presenting. You do not know how your audience is going to perceive you or absorb your message and content. Simply accepting the idea of controlling yourself in the environment you’re in, rather than trying to control the environment you’re in, reduces anxiety about the unknown.

Confidence comes from practice and experience, but we never know what will happen, and being comfortable with it is essential for being calm in handling any unanticipated circumstance.

Getting comfortable with the judgment

It is, of course, easier said than done to be comfortable with criticism. However, in reality, judgment is an opinion from somebody about you or your content, and it can be something good. The problem with it is that you cannot control it. You have no control over how others see you, and you can only do so much to get yourself to where you want.

Alternatively, invite people to judge you as they have the right to do so. People have the freedom to not like you or appreciate your content. You should get comfortable with the fact that not everybody will admire, like, or absorb your ideas, or even start to trust you.

Instead of thinking of yourself as a presenter, consider yourself a connector. You share information, data, or ideas when you do a presentation. The concept of being judged is diluted when you think of yourself as a connector.

Here, Peter gave a great example about how when you go on a date you present yourself in the best way possible for the other person to like you and judge you positively. You may also alter it to aim to connect with this person so that they can naturally sense your ideas and comprehend you.

When you put more emphasis on connecting and sharing, you get closer to the result you want.

Listening and the power of your voice

Sometimes we hear the presenter’s voice before we see them. This elicits an emotion in us, and that way trust can be established even before we see this person. And that voice has a tremendous influence on the individuals who are listening to us.

During the Q&A, Peter stated that he has learned, over time, that you must believe what you are saying because people can sense it through your voice. In addition, having a microphone with which you are comfortable gives you greater confidence in your voice.

Peter also got asked about some voice-development strategies. He claims that your voice is primarily made up of the air moving inside of you and that the way you breathe has the greatest influence on it.

He added that natural breathing pauses are beneficial and that you could carry on like this all day instead of catching your breath when you do not take some breathing breaks. Also, there is rehearsing. The more you know about something, the more confidently you can discuss it.

Be bold

A strong presence, Peter claims, is what draws your audience closer to your words. Make distinct decisions and be bold in them. That does not mean you have to be tough; simply be confident in what you say and how you move.

The boldness of making choices oozes confidence and shows that you believe what you are saying. When things become rough, excellent presenters handle them calmly. Moreover, the more you present, the more at ease you feel with handling change.

In the Q&A part of the session, there were quite a lot of questions that Peter happily addressed. 

Best practices for connecting with your audience

Even though your audience might be diverse, some things are universal. Here comes the idea of openness and intention when you know what you are there for and what you want to give the audience. Demonstrate your intent right away.

People are not interested in your title or that you are a fantastic speaker; they care about the value they will get. They always listen and engage when they realize you want to give them something of worth.

Let's summarize

We learned quite a lot from the outstanding MC Peter Hopwood. Shortly, said: your presence speaks more than your words, and your mindset even shapes your words and how you move; embrace the unpredictable, welcome judgment, use your voice confidently, and be bold in your decisions and movements!

Let us know in the comments what the most interesting and useful takeaway from Peter’s session was for you!

And while reading is great, why not see the whole session yourself? Get the Delivery Track Recordings for the discounted price of €39 or all the 30+ sessions for just €79!

VISIT SHOP

Join Present to Succeed - the biggest presentation skills conference in the world

Whether you are part of an organization or running a business, how your slides look will always factor in your success. Learn how to become an influential speaker by joining our 30+ industry-leading speakers’ sessions.

Start engaging your audience better and influencing them to embrace your concepts, hire you, or buy your products. Now is the best moment to get your ticket!

Join Present to Succeed - the biggest presentation skills conference in the world

Whether you are part of an organization or running a business, how your slides look will always factor in your success. Learn how to become an influential speaker by joining our 30+ industry-leading speakers’ sessions.

Start engaging your audience better and influencing them to embrace your concepts, hire you, or buy your products. Now is the best moment to get your ticket!