11 Oct PREPARATION PAYS OFF
How do you know when you are fully prepared to do a presentation?
The Catholic church I belong to believes that preparation pays off. I am a lector there, so once a month I read a scripture reading for mass (at the lectern you see in this picture).
As a lector, we are asked to deliver the scripture reading powerfully and without mistakes. I always practice reading it aloud about a dozen times during the week before the service so that I am totally familiar with it. I work on how I will say what I say. That preparation pays off, as people will many times stop me and say how much they got out of the reading I did.
Occasionally other lectors will ask, “How do you bring the reading to life like that?” Here’s my secret: It’s Preparation. I practice many times so it kind of rolls off my tongue. It doesn’t always go perfectly– but it typically goes quite well. Preparation is very important to me. It means everything.
I am told that Don Knots (who played the part of Barney Fife on Andy Griffith) used to read his lines as many as 30 different ways until he was satisfied with how he said it. There’s something to this skill of preparation.
Back to being a lector: First, you go through the initial lector training and (if accepted) you are put on a rotational schedule to lector. The Church also insists that you must attend the yearly Lector Training Day in order to be put on the list for the upcoming year.
Maybe that sounds like over-training to you, but this church, (the newest Catholic church in our town) has about five thousand members and they want everyone in church roles to be effective at what they do. The senior priest wants the congregation to have a positive, powerful experience when they attend church and he believes that it starts with us.
Because of that, I also have back-up plans so that what I do appears seamless to the congregation.
How prepared are you, for the things you do?
Do you have back-up plans in case something goes wrong?
Do you set a good example of how to prepare for the team you lead?
ACTION STEP FOR THIS WEEK:
- Prepare way in advance for a meeting or presentation you are going to do in the future.
- Put more time into it than you usually do.
- Work on being able to pronounce and not stumble on the your words you say.
- Put the inflection where it should be with a warm, rich tone.
- Look into the eyes of the person or people to whom you are presenting.
- Put real passion in your voice.
- See if you don’t get better results than in the past.