The thing with habits is that they are unconscious. Our brain is on autopilot and so we don’t even recognise when we follow a habit. It’s the whole point of habits … to take load off of our consciousness.
Disaster strikes when it’s a bad habit, more so when it’s not even our own habit. Like the bad presentation habit. It’s our audience’s habit and it works as follows: As soon as the first slide is on the screen, audiences go into PowerPoint consumption mode. Also known as sleep mode. Or Instagram checking mode. Or vacation planning mode.
The problem is that habits are not easy to change. When they are triggered, autopilot takes over. Worse: we don’t even have an easy access to our audience’s autopilots.
But: We can easily break it. Because it turns out that it’s much easier to break a habit than to change it. A habit needs a trigger. No trigger, no habit. Change the trigger – that’s easy!
How? Start differently! Start with the beamer off. Or tell a story. Or interact with your audience. Do anything that’s different from what you – and others – usually do.
No trigger, no habit.