presentation lesson: mindset

The first step in learning to present with impact at is having the right mindset.

The Mind of a Child

How you approach any new skill, idea, or way of doing something will determine your success. You can approach it with the idea that you know everything or you can approach it with a beginner’s mind. Most of us approach it some where in between those two points.

Beginner’s Mind

My first challenge to you is to approach this or any growth and development activity with a beginner’s mind.

What is the beginner’s mind? My personal experience with it is from my casual study of Zen philosophy. Beginner’s mind is Zen practice in action. It is the mind that is innocent (childlike) of preconceptions and expectations, judgements and prejudices. This childlike mind is full of curiosity and wonder and amazement. When you approach something old or new with this mindset, you ask: “I wonder what this is? I wonder what that is? I wonder what this means?” The most difficult is leaving behind your experience and knowledge, fixed point of view, or a prior judgement. The beginners mind asks simply: “what is it?”

You may be thinking…”how in the world can you always have a beginner’s mind? don’t you eventually have to learn something? that’s what we all get paid for…being good at something, right?” Yes. I’m not suggesting you act dumb. I’m suggesting you approach things with curiosity and without judgement.

We have all learned a certain way of presenting. It may have been in school, college, or on the job. It may have even been in a workshop! You learned a great deal of helpful information in these ways. But I challenge that these ways may not be working anymore. And if you are looking for a better solution to getting you message across – you must start with the mind of a child: the beginner’s mind. Practice that first, and then you will be ready and open to presenting differently.

If you want a tool to help you to unlearn (either your presentation approach or any behavior) so that you can relearn a more appropriate behavior for your situation, make sure to sign up for the newsletter. Only subscribers receive the tools to support the article topics! Join us!