Let’s admit it. We all want to become perfect in every aspect, even in a professional presentation. However, some presenters forget that trying to be completely error-free can negatively affect the entire performance.
Though aiming for the best helps you become successful, trying for a 100% great outcome can give you a headache. Aside from procrastination or stage fright, perfectionism can also become a source of anxiety. It triggers nervousness, especially when you’re expecting an error-free presentation.
Ask yourself, “Am I focused on not making a mistake?” or “Am I focused on engaging my audience to get my point across?” Your answer depends on what you prioritize the most.
Let’s see how perfectionism affects your performance.
Perfectionism Heightens Fear
It’s normal to be anxious when you speak in public. However, setting your standards too high might increase your fear of rejection or fear of being judged. This is because it convinces you to be unflinchingly perfect during the pitch.
To ease the pressure, remember that your job is to connect with your audience so that they understand your message.
Three Signs that You’re a Perfectionist
- You can’t forget a certain failure.
- You can’t respond positively to a negative reaction.
- You worry too much about what others think of you.
These habits demoralize you if you let it control you and your performance.
Mistakes can happen even if you’ve carefully planned and prepared your presentation. Whether it’s caused by your PowerPoint slides, your speech, or technical problems, remain positive and focus on conveying your message to avoid getting controlled by this behavior.
Three Thoughts to Overcome Perfectionism
To remove this negative behavior, consider these things:
- Your audience is considerate and understanding. If you fail, forget it then move on. Being honest allows them to see that you’re also human, prone to making mistakes.
- Your listeners won’t notice unless they see that you do. Even if you point out that you’ve made a mistake, it’s not the end of the world. Proceed with your pitch and concentrate on delivering it.
- Relax and be positive. Things will get better once you let go of your worries. It’s all about your audience, so focus on meeting their expectations.
Aiming for total perfection causes problems once you let it control you.
It’s natural to commit mistakes, especially when presenting. What you can do, instead, is to pick yourself up and show your audience that you’re still worth their time, because your main idea is what they care about the most.
Acknowledging your errors shows courage and that there’ll always be room for improvement. Positively respond to it and become a better and successful presenter.
To craft an effective and powerful presentation, SlideGenius experts can help you out!
“Ditching the Urge to Be a ‘Perfect’ Speaker.” Ginger Public Speaking. June 12, 2013. www.gingerpublicspeaking.com/urge-perfect-speaker
Morgan, Nick. “Perfectionism and Public Speaking.” Public Words. October 14, 2014. www.publicwords.com/2014/10/14/perfectionism-and-public-speaking