A performer and presentation can be overly polished and perfect. Creepily so.
Borrowing from the world of robotics, I call this phenomenon the uncanny valley of design and delivery. This is when a presenter looms a bit too near perfection. I don’t run into the uncanny valley of presentation design and delivery too often, but when I do — my hair stands on end.
Yours will, too. Presentation perfection is creepy. It’s just not human.
When presenters carefully design and deliver a flawless presentation, the audience will dislike both the topic as well as the presenter. I’ve seen that happen twice in my lifetime.
See? It’s not just me. Presentation perfection can be off-putting.
If you find yourself making a mistake during your presentation, rejoice! You’ve escaped the uncanny valley.
If you find yourself tirelessly rehearsing the smallest gestures and facial expressions before your presentation — be warned! You might be unwittingly entering the uncanny valley!
As you rehearse, remember that your goal is not to deliver a perfect speech or presentation. The perfect speech or presentation does not exist.
Rather, what’s your real goal? To educate? Inform? Persuade? Entertain?
Being human will help you achieve these goals better than striving for perfection.
And hey — it may save you from a punch you in the throat!
Have you ever encountered a presentation that was a little too perfect? How did it make you feel?