Ideally, to become a better presenter, you have spent time getting into your presentation audiences’ hearts and heads. Your presentation audience is the hero of your presentation. Now, it’s time to look at your own role as mentor.
Mentors are selfless and think of themselves in the context of others. These exercises will help you think about yourself in terms of what you can give the audience.
Your role as mentor is to influence the hero (audience) at critical junctures of their life. The mentor’s appearance in the journey is essential to moving the hero past the blockades of doubt and fear. Mentors usually have two major responsibilities: teaching and gift-giving.
In the movie The Karate Kid (1984), Mr. Miyagi not only teaches protégé Daniel the “tool” of karate; he gives him insights into the meaning of life:
Miyagi: What matter?
Daniel: I’m just scared. The tournament and everything. Miyagi: You remember lesson about balance?
Miyagi: Lesson not just karate only. Lesson for whole life. Whole life have a balance. Everything be better. Understand?
Miyagi was a pretty smart dude. He got his deck sanded, car washed, plus his fence and house painted out of the deal. At times, there’s benefit to the mentor, but the greater benefit should always be for the hero.
What deep insights can you provide to your audience? Tap into your own life experience and use it to give to them a sense of how it would feel to follow their calling more fully. Don’t lose sight of the role you are playing in their lives.
The purpose of your appearance in their grand drama is to provide the tools and magical gifts that will help them get unstuck and continue on their journey. Of course you have an agenda and information to get across—maybe you’re even trying to close a deal—but you should offer something more in your presentation.
The mentor should provide the hero with important, useful, previously unknown information. You should also motivate the hero when he is fearful or hesitant, and give the hero tools for his tool belt. These tools could be roadmaps for success, new communication techniques, or even insights into his soul. No matter what the tool is, the audience should leave each presentation knowing something they didn’t know before and with the ability to apply that knowledge to help them succeed.
You mustn’t come across as if the audience is helping you on your journey. You’re to be a gift to them. Every once in a while, mentors gain something from the relationship for themselves, like knowledge or insights —but that shouldn’t be your goal. An audience can always spot selfish motives.