Today I met a fellow procrastinator. Another devoted follower of the maxim : Why do today what you can put off until tomorrow!

For many years I was quite happy to be a procrastinator. That is until I became interested in public speaking and following that became passionate about training. I very early learned the lesson that procrastination and effective speeches and creative, great training sessions just do not go together!

I know there are many of you out there that leave it to the last minute to prepare your speeches. You may not even be aware just how much impact procrastination is having on your presentations. Many of you may be saying I do my best work at the last minute, if I don’t worry about preparing my presentations then I don’t have time to get nervous. My speeches and presentations work best when left to the last minute.

My challenge to you is try preparing. Yes – give preparation a go and you may be just as surprised as I was and as my fellow procrastinator was at just how much better your presentations and speeches become with a little practice and a little less procrastination.

Whilst you may be doing good speeches a little preparation will give them that extra shine to turn them in to fantastic speeches.

Let’s look at some of the benefits of preparation:

1. Gives you time to rewrite and rework your speeches to get the best flow of words, the best word pictures, the best transitions to make your speech flow and enhance the logical sequence.

2. You can try out different openings and conclusions until you find the one that is going to best connect with the audience to catch their attention and get your message across.

3. Gives you a chance to try out your body language. See which gestures best support and enhance your message. You can practise them until they become smooth and natural.

4. There is opportunity for you to tape yourself so you can listen to your voice – are there areas where you can pause for effect, places where you can add excitement by raising and speeding up the pace and rate of your voice.

5. Importantly preparation will allow you to check the timing of your speech to ensure that you are within the time allowed and to ensure that your time is used effectively.

Procrastination leads you into a false sense of security and preparedness. It can often lead to your speech or presentation not being as effective as it could have been. This could impact on sales or obtaining commitment to a course of action. It could even in a worse case scenario impact on your credibility.

Procrastination is a loving friend of Murphy – Murphy’s law will happen more where there is less preparation. With preparation you can lessen the effects and the chance of things going wrong.

It is hard for the procrastinator to change but take that first small step outside of your comfort zone… look at your speeches and presentations. Do something today that you would normally have left until tomorrow and you too will come to the realisation that I and my fellow procrastinator have:

Preparation really works!!.

Trish @ Trischel (a reformed procrastinator)

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