Presentation Zen: The art of connection, contribution, & change

by Scott Smith

Every presentation or speech is a chance to make a contribution. We all live for the opportunity to contribute, it’s what makes us human. A contribution is never about us—it’s always about them. We show respect for them by being well prepared. We show we care by sharing a bit of ourselves and a small part of our own humanity. Do not allow yourself to get bogged down in a haze of self-doubt and worry about whether or not you are good enough. To win or to lose is not the point. Boston Philharmonic Orchestra conductor and presenter extraordinaire Benjamin Zander says something similar while encouraging one of his talented students: “We are about contribution. That’s what our job is. It’s not about impressing people. It’s not about getting the next job. It’s about contributing something.”