Course participants often say “I want to deliver my presentations more effectively” or "I want to present in a confident manner.” And when they say it, a tiny bell rings in my head. It’s not their fault. But I think these words are dangerous even though we commonly use these words when we are thinking of getting our ideas across to an audience.
Deliver means “to supply as expected” or to “hand over to the addressee”.
Present also means to “deliver or handover, or “to offer an idea for consideration or acceptance”.
Both words are really about an act of handing over of information.
The problem is that both words don’t get you thinking about the most important part of the process.
They seem to forget the audience.
The image that often springs to mind for me is a lorry reversing and then tipping it’s load all the over the audience whether the audience wants that information or not.
The word “communicate” is a far better word. Communicate means “To succeed in conveying one’s meaning to others”. By definition it brings in your audience
In order to communicate you have to think of ways to get your information across to the audience. You have to bring your ideas alive, help them remember what you have said and find reasons for the audience to come along with your thinking. You begin with the audience in mind and not just what you know about the subject.
Just delivering a presentation will give you the illusion that a job has been done but it probably won’t change anybody’s mind. More communication please!