The curse of the blank page
You have an important presentation coming up. And it’s the big one. You have been shortlisted among several companies and a date is locked down for the final pitch. There are just two of you left in the race. As the deadline approaches for the first rehearsal with your team, you fire-up PowerPoint because you are about to write the pitch of all pitches. The stakes are high. The pressure is on. And it’s on your shoulders.
The blank computer screen glares back at you as if to say, “come on then – be creative”. You start to feel clammy. A wave of anxiety floods your senses. And for some inexplicable reason, you don’t know where to begin.
You are suffering from what is commonly known as writer’s block. Well the good news is, that we’ve all had it. And the even better news is that you can fix it.
How to overcome writer’s block
One thing you can do right away is head out for a short walk, phone a friend, brew some coffee – whatever it takes to create distance between you and the fear. Yes, I said fear. Because an irrational lack of confidence is what is stopping you write that presentation. Think about the time when you last won a pitch and go back to your computer more positively.
As your finger-tips rest on the keyboard, ask yourself this: What is my audience afraid of?
Don’t worry about a word-perfect narrative, just start free writing about a problem your audience faces. Then answer a second question.
What are the consequences if they don’t do something about it? Just keep writing and get into a flow. You can go back and edit your script later.
Inject drama into your writing
What you are doing here is starting your presentation with a highly relatable story. Inject drama. Even look for a company who had already been afflicted by the same problem to bring it to life. Keep the narrative negative before you start positioning your company as the guide who can take them on a journey of resolution.
You have now written a meaningful and memorable opening to your presentation and banished the curse of the blank screen for good.
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