Brittney Schwertly: If you have a fear of negative feedback when it comes to presentations. Then we have a few tips for you.
Narrator: Welcome to the Presentation Mentor Podcast where we uncover the secret ingredients presenters used to woo their audiences and wow their listeners. Whether in a boardroom or a ballroom. You’ll learn how to achieve presentation greatness!
So, prepare yourself for standing ovations.
Here are your hosts, Scott and Brittney Schwertly.
Scott Schwertly: Welcome back guys, it’s great to have you here. Excited to go through today’s content, we’re gonna be talking about sort of the sensitive topic. I think for most people but really for folks that are new to presenting or public speaking I think this is probably one of those big fears that may cause hesitation or set folks back and it’s this whole concept of how to navigate hecklers and haters.
Brittney Schwertly: It’s a big fear for me because as you know Scott, I am not a fan of conflict. I hate conflict and so anyone giving you know purposely giving negativity or not being curious in terms of presentation is a big fear for me. So I’m excited to hear your tips on this one.
Scott: Yeah, in briefer aside note for those not, are not familiar with the predictive, predictive index were big fans of it, it’s sort of the grandfather to the Myers Briggs but actually scores a high A which is sort of that, you can handle conflicts sort of thing and then Brittney is a low A, so…
Brittney: Very low A. (Laughing)
Scott: That’s why we compliment each other, but it goes back to the whole ideas of not really enjoying conflicts, so yeah I have a few scars and wounds over the years, fortunately that high A has allowed me to thicken my skin over the years, so yeah we’ve got a number of great tips here we wanna offer if you do fear hecklers and haters.
Yeah! Definitely looking for diving into this material more detailed.
The kind of you view some context one is just kind quickly paint a picture here, you know in all my years I’ve been doing this now for over a decade. I’ve been fortunate enough you know knock on wood that I haven’t had too many negative experiences, but there was one negative experience that I’ve had years, years agos during the early days of Ethos3 which is my presentation company and I was invited to be the keynote speaker.
I was the main guy, their giving me forty-five minutes to do my thing, I’m based here in national so they flew me out to book overtown Florida, again, very large organization, big, big Tech-company you’d be similar with them if I’d mention their name.
And I was gonna talk to their entire sales force and I planned, I prepared, I practiced. I thought I had everything in order and I went up there I did my thing and it was an absolute train-wrecked.
It was probably the worst presentation of my life, even though I planned and prepared I think I cut some corners and I just missed several things and said stuffs, showcase stuff just was doing things that I shouldn’t have done and I got booed. In fact, I got booed I think a total count of maybe five or six times over the course of forty-five minutes and when I got done with that talk people pulled me aside they talked about their sort of unhappiness with my talk.
It was, it was completely embarrassing. So I wanted to quickly get in a taxi, I never wanted to get into taxi that fast then after that talk in just a whole….
Brittney: That, that alone just says how many years ago it was, that you’re not saying “I wanted to get to an uber”. (Brittney and Scott were laughing)
Scott: Yeah, and then even just the whole plane ride home I was just absolutely depressed and just down on myself for not catching the things that I just absolutely missed. And, so I vowed that day that I would never make that same mistake again and you know fortunately I haven’t made that big event error ever again but it’s a good way wake up moment for me.
In this case I deserve to be hackold but sometimes you don’t deserve to be hackold and you don’t deserve the haters that are in the room and so were gonna do today is take that experience and lessons that I’ve learned from that and obviously offers that up today but also offer a few more on things you could do better plan and prepare so you can handle those hecklers and those haters the next time you give a talk, so.
Brittney: Well that leads to the first tip that you have which is, prepare for anything and I know in previous episode of this podcast we’ve talked about the importance of preparation and we all think about you know preparing in terms of going over what you’re gonna say and your slides. You know number of times, but very few times to we think about preparing for negative feedback so how do you now given that experience that you had, prepare for negative feedback?
Scott: Yeah, I mean there’s really no secret ingredient other than you does really have to double check and triple check everything from you know simple things like typos cause you will get haters on that, to…
Brittney: The grammar police. (Laughing)
Scott: Yeah, oh yeah then I have those as well and then even just the quality their content. Like if you’re gonna share case study or any sort of research you know you’re double checking your stats and your facts.
Brittney: That’s the crazy thing now is that, almost everyone in your audience if not everyone in your audience has at least one mobile device have check to internet or their cellular plan so as you’re presenting a case study they can google it. You know, as you’re speaking. So you better have it right.
Scott: Yeah, its, it is scary just to how empowered they are. So yeah, again it’s just you have to, you have to travel lightly and making sure that you are again double checking and triple checking everything that you’re gonna do.
And you know face reality, you’re gonna have people in the room that I mean obviously hopefully most full on the room because their ready to get educated or their gonna get inspired and so you’re nationally you’re gonna have fans in the room that are cheering you on and wanted you to succeed and their looking for you to add value, but you’re gonna have those other people that are just naturally wired to beat the devil’s advocate. And their gonna challenge you not only during your talk but particularly if you open up opportunities for Q and A at the end.
Their gonna deliberately and intentionally go after your throat. And again, if you don’t know your information right the back of your hand what you presenting but all the others surrounding information around that maybe you didn’t even present, you have to know your material or your toast. (Laughing)
Brittney: So yeah! Well I like another tip that we have talked about previously which is to be aware of your audience and your brand that you’re. You know if you’re speaking to, example Pepsi and company not probably, you probably don’t want to use a Coca Cola reference in your slides.
Scott: Yeah, exactly!
*** Scott and Brittney are both laughing ***
Brittney: That was like? You know, If there is a big competitor that they have , you know, if you’re not familiar with the company and brand, kind of becoming familiar with your competitors so that you don’t step on toes.
Scott: Yeah! Or if you are talking to a room full of Engineers or IT folks, you don’t want to be talking about how, you know, in the case of, you know, just thinking presentations coz this what this podcast is dedicated too.
You know, a lot of times, I talked about the importance of recycling presentations that use it in your social media campaign and use Twitter and Instagram, and Linkedin. And, IT people and Engineer people won’t gonna care about the marketing angle or the sales angle.
So, I can talk to them about presentations and how to, take complex data and make it simple. That’s relevant to them but to talk about marketing strategy afterwards, it’s not relevant to them. They have a marketing department that’s responsible for that. So you have to pick and choose what you’re gonna share and who you’re talking too.
Brittney: Okay. Well, when it comes to, here’s that part that makes me nervous, when it comes to the actual presentation and I just can’t imagine getting booed. Like, I would be petrified. So, when it comes to that presentation and someone awful, that’s awful. Does boo you, or says something negative during your presentation. How do you handle it?
Scott: In that case, you have to, you have to stay the course, you know, looking back to that keynote that I gave.You know, again, I was scheduled will be after for forty-five (45) minutes, sixty (60) minutes, really if you count Q&A and all that.But you, you have to stay to the course. You hopefully have a game plan. You have a blueprint that you’re gonna go through. Don’t let that stuff ravel you.
Now, we are gonna get in to our third point here and just about a bit of reflection. And you can reflect on those thoughts later on. But that moment, you know, you’re there that to do the best that you can. So you have to stay the course and you have to own the stage. You have to own the front of the room. You have to always keep in mind that you’re kind of the host and these folks are your guests. And you’re there to create an experience and hopefully add value to their life.
So you can’t let those distractions at least impact you at that moment.
Brittney: So if someone does boo you or says something negative out loud that you can hear from the stage, do you acknowledge it at all? Do you address it? Or do you just stay confident and keep going?
Scott: I mean, you could always try to say something humorous fact to light the mood. But generally speaking, you just need to keep pressing forward. I think it’s like any traditional advice you will get as a five-year old or a ten-year old kid, if you’re getting bullied at school. You don’t want to feed, feed the hate there, in that words.
In some cases, you may deserve it. In the case of my speech, I screwed up on a couple of things. So, I deserved it. But sometimes, you don’t deserve it and you can’t, you can’t feed the monster on something like that.
So again, you gotta stay the course.
Brittney: Yeah! Uhm? In terms of just being there and then afterwards, say you have a Q&A session or someone comes up to you after the presentation. You know, then you’re asking for feedback at that point. So how, how do you, do you deal with it differently, at that point?
Scott: Yeah! So generally in the situation like that, if you gonna have people approach you afterwards. Uhm, you wanna have a humble heart and you wanna be open to that feedback.
And that is, I think, the great opportunity to have those conversations and to dialogue. Again, to apologize if you need to apologize or to debate even to some sense, to some level if you need to.
Uhm? But yeah! That’s, that’s you’re really been sort of to take us at the heart. And, that’s, I think the appropriate framework to have those conversations, not during your actual presentation.
And that’s a great transition point to get into the point number three. The whole idea of reflecting and improving. Before we unpack this third point. We’re gonna take a quick break.
Brittney: That’s good! Always talk about conflict has worn me out already. (Laughing)
Scott: (Laughing) We’ll be right back.
*** Advertisement ***
Brittney: Welcome back, guys! We are talking about how to navigate hecklers and haters.And we have went to the first two tips of preparing for anything, when it comes to your presentation. But also, during the presentation, staying the course and so, I hope you have recovered from all the talked about (Laughing) negativity, as I have. But we’re on to the third topic and the third tip which is reflection and improvement.
Scott: Yeah! So I think,this is a really important topic.Kinda billion offer, we concluded before the break.Is, is you, do you have to reflect? Kinda my general rule with hecklers and haters is their either or either are wrong so if they are wrong, then, you know, you gotta brush that stuff off. Allow to thicken your skin and move on. And be done with it. Don’t give into that anger or emotion. You know, when you are in the moment. So,if its, if its, undeserved, then, understand and acknowledge that and move on.
Brittney: But I think, when it comes to feedback, you really have to pay attention to positive and negative feedback. Look back and reflect on your presentation and see what works and what didn’t.
Brittney: And if there was negative feedback about a certain section or certain slide or something you said, maybe it wasn’t wrong that you brought it up or that you included it. But maybe it was in a wrong spot.
Brittney: Or maybe, it was just addressed in a wrong way. And so, it’s not necessarily that you’re right and their wrong. It’s just maybe needs an adjustment.
Scott: Yeah! And that’s the second part. So, I mean, if its completely undeserved, so be it. Moveon! But it does deserve, maybe, maybe, you did talk about something with it in the wrong section or maybe you said something that you really didn’t think through clearly before sharing it.Then, that goes to the first part here of reflect.Like, take it in. Uhmm? You know, it’s a humble pie for a little bit and improve.
And that’s the second part. Take those thoughts, take that feedback. Go back and reevaluate. Could I have done it differently? Or more importantly, could I have done it better? And if so, then make those changes and change it up. Like, make those improvements.
Brittney: Would you even, do, or have you ever,do I know you have, because we do this a lot. (Laughing) in our own home.Uhm? How do you feel about asking an outsider coz sometimes I feel like we get so close to the topics, so close to something that we are doing, when it comes to work. Or something you’re creating. It’s a, you can’t see the forest for the trees. How about having an outsider, someone who’s not in the company? Someone who’s not assist you with the project. Whether a friend or a mentor or even spouse or family member. Kinda go over that feedback with you and look at the presentation. Uhm? Look at your notes. What you’re gonna say and have them give you some tips, some pointers on how they perceive it.
Scott: Now, I think that’s cool then. In fact, if you can get some of those feedback even before you get in front of a room. That’s great! Give that presentation in front of your spouse or your significant other. You know, in Ethos3, we’re big believers in 360 reviews and making sure that you’re getting outside perspective on your work performance and I think the same thing is true with presenting. You want to get those outside opinions, you know, that’s where you can get the clearest insights because sometimes, you’re just too close to your material. So, yeah! If you can, if you have have the opportunity to get, to make that happen, definitely get that outside perspective.
Brittney: Yeah! I think that last tip for me is probably my favorite. Just reminding ourselves that we’re not perfect. (Laughing with Scott) as much as we wanna be. As much as we have prepared and poured your heart and soul into what you’re doing, that we’re not perfect.
And, it’s okay to make mistakes but mistakes is how you get better.
Brittney: Uhmm? So, I think, you know part of preparation, you’re right, is preparing in front of an audience, whether it is your significant other. But when it comes back using, you know, that outside audience, again, as just someone to tailor, what you’ve already done.
Scott: Yeah! Since, we’re on the topic of just awareness in general. One thing that won’t get you an outside perspective, that would give you an internal perspective is, if you haven’t done so already, take our BADGE assessment. It’s basically what we called it the Myers Briggs for presenters. You can go online and you can take this assessment. It takes about ten to twelve minutes. And, within minutes you will know which one of sixteen different presentation personas fits you best. So where you can do this, simple URL here. I’ll repeat it two times for you, so you can have it. It’s a, go to ethos3.com
Brittney: E-T-H-O-S then number three (3).
Scott: Dot com forward, slash, badge, dash, for, dash, free . So badge for free. So ethos3.com/badge-for-free (https://www.ethos3.com/badge-for-free). And, again, there is a dash between a badge,for and free. (Scott and Brittney both are laughing)
So ethos3.com, forward slash, badge, dash,for, dash, free and you can take the badge assessment.
Yeah! And,if you, do have a chance to take this assessment, we’d love to hear how you’ve scored. Shoot us a comment, leave us some feedback here. We always do appreciate the feedback in the comment that you guys leave.
If you have show recommendations, topics, suggestions, we’d love to hear it from you.
Brittney: Yeah! It’s been great to hear everyone’s feedback so far and we’re excited that you are, you know, getting some benefit out of this. So, yeah! We’re happy to keep going and it’s been fun so far. (Laughing).
Brittney: A lot of laughs! (Continue laughing)
Scott: Yeah for sure! Well, thank you guys for joining us on this episode. It’s been great covering this material and we’ll catch you next week as we get into episode number seven.
Narrator: Thanks for joining Scott and Brittney on another episode of The Presentation Mentor Podcast.
If you are looking to improve your presentation skills, be sure to check out The Presentation Mentor Online Course at presentationmentor.com.
*** THE END ***