Bad Presenting = Bad Acting

A lot of people probably have a different one, but my definition of bad acting is when the acting gets in the way of the movie or play. Instead of focusing on the story, the scenes, or the shots, you keep thinking to yourself: “wow, that is some cheesy acting. Nicolas Cage really keeps standing out as Nicolas Cage.”

Thankfully, in most cases, you spend the first three minutes thinking about the actor and then they blend right into the background, becoming a natural part of the story. Brad Pitt was always Billy Beane, in your mind.

I’ve drawn the same conclusion about presenting. When the audience’s attention is hung up on you (the presenter) and your faults — rather than thinking about what your message — you’ve failed. I came to this realization recently when an audience member’s first feedback at the end of my presentation was that I was lacking energy.

If you’re able to blend right into the presentation and not distract from the message, you’re above average.

But when, on rare occasion, you’re able to captivate the audience with your delivery (and you get comments afterwards that what you said really resonated with them) — like a great actor, that’s when you know you’ve done your best work.