Watching a recent episode of "Shark Tank," I thought the entrepreneurs' presentation was terrible. They hadn't fully thought through their idea, they didn't have the answers to important questions from the Sharks, and they completely floundered when they weren't using their memorized script.
The Sharks thought the presentation was pretty bad, too, and told them so.
In response, one of the entrepreneurs had this to say:
"We're not presenters, okay? We're physicians."
He was about to continue when Barbara Corcoran cut him off. She said:
"Guess what: I don't care what your background is. If you're looking for money, you gotta sell your idea."
Well said, Barbara!
And I would say that this is true for all speakers, whatever your background. Maybe you're not asking for money. Maybe you're trying to persuade your colleagues to take a business risk. Maybe you're educating the community about autism. Maybe you're sharing bad news with your employees. Maybe you're announcing a big change in your company. Maybe you're meeting with a prospect who might buy a house, your insurance services, your Mary Kay mascara, or any of a million other things.
Doesn't matter what the presentation is about: You are always selling an idea.
You always want the audience to do something as a result of your presentation. If they're not sold, they're not going to do what you want.
You don't have to be in sales to be selling. Selling isn't always about money (although in most of these cases, there will be some money exchanged or donated somewhere along the line).
So stop making excuses for delivering a bad presentation, figure out how to make it better, and go get what you want!