Are you procrastinating on that presentation?

Most people who identify themselves as procrastinators are not really–it’s just that they’re trying to work beyond their juggling skills. It happens I can literally juggle three objects fairly well (though with nothing approaching the skill in the video above), but if you throw a fourth object in there, I don’t just drop one object–I drop them all.

Figuratively, when life throws one more item into our juggling pattern, it can cause everything to go to, um, pieces. For some people, the presentation becomes the extra object.

Take the analogy a little further: juggling four objects requires more than just juggling faster. It requires a different pattern. In essence, you have to be able to juggle two objects in each hand.

Likewise, adding presentations to your mix of activities will require more than simply working faster.

A rule of thumb is one hour of preparation for each minute of speaking. That will vary, obviously, but if you think a 20-minute speech will only take an hour to prepare and rehearse, you are setting yourself up for stress and ineffectiveness. Furthermore, 20 hours of preparation in the two days prior to delivering the speech isn’t as effective as 20 hours broken up into pieces and spread over a month.

That takes a different pattern.

You usually can’t “will” yourself into preparation, but recognizing the need for adding another object to the pattern, and for changing the pattern, may give you the insight to be able to schedule the time you need.

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Author: Donn King

Donn King works with people who want to forge top-notch speaking skills to increase their influence and impact so they can advance their career or business. He is associate professor of communication studies at Pellissippi State Community College in Knoxville, Tennessee, as well as a speaker and writer. His background includes ministry, newspaper, radio, small magazines and other publications, as well as co-authoring a textbook and blogging.