Presentation Lessons Learned At A School Assembly

Thursday, March 5th, 2015 by Simon Morton

I’ve had a smashing morning. The stars aligned and my schedule cleared enough for me to attend a special assembly at my children’s school to celebrate ‘World Book Day’.

The assembly had all the key ingredients in place to make it special… The introduction by the squeaky (but definitely improving) school orchestra, a cute play put on by the tots in the Reception class and the excruciating moment where parents grunt/falsetto their way through a long forgotten hymn.

But the real magic happened when the stories started.

As children of all ages took their place on the stage, we were treated to self-penned stories that were brilliant, creative and thought provoking in equal measure. World Book Day was off and running…

What made it all the more special was how the children actually delivered the stories. Despite nerves, they were beaming from ear to ear, obviously delighted to be sharing their stories with the world. Their proud smiles were only matched by those on their parents faces, a wonderful sight to see.

So how does this relate to my stock in trade, business presentations?

There’s an obvious link to the importance of authenticity (something I have become somewhat maniacal about) but also the sense of pride that comes with sharing a story you want the world to hear.

It occurs to me that a gazillion books/blogs/articles have been written about how to beat glossophobia (the fear of public speaking) but a pitiful few focus on the joy of sharing a message you’re proud of.

My advice to nervy business presenters is simple – attend the next school assembly you’re invited to. The enthusiasm and joy of children sharing their stories is both infectious and priceless. Oh, and in the spirit of World Book Day, if you’re still after glossophobia-beating-inspiration, who better to turn to than Roald Dahl:

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