How comfortable are you speaking in a public venue? How about if you are asked to present your views on a project you may be working on? What if your professional association asked you to keynote a meeting or present a concurrent session? Merely upon hearing these suggestions, most people become sick to their stomach, feel their knees begin to shake, and their mental terrorism starts screaming, “No way!”
Here is the quickest way to separate yourself from other people in the workplace: hone your public speaking skills, and become comfortable with presenting. I’ve learned that it is simply another skill to tuck away in your success toolbox.
How are your presentation skills? Answer honestly! Can you:
- Quickly format a three-minute presentation while sitting at a conference table with your boss or client?
- Begin with a dynamic “hook” to get the audience’s attention?
- Leave the group with the action you want them to do?
- Channel your nervousness into energy from the platform?
- Remain calm if there is a troublemaker in the audience?
- Connect with the audience using appropriate humor?
- Show the authentic you from the podium?
You should be screaming, “Help!” if you answered yes to any of the above questions. I can guarantee that if you learn how to present using authenticity, humor, and great information, you will be ahead of everyone in your arena. Learning this skill for your career growth pays off! It helps you remain visible to the people who make the decisions in the organization, not only in terms of promoting you, but also in tough times—when deciding who gets laid off and who doesn’t.
Polished presentation skills can be the one talent that makes you indispensible. I have an entire chapter in The Reactor Factor: how to deal with difficult work situations without going nuclear and you can download all the complimentary forms (PDF’s) from the web site http://www.ReactorFactorBook.com.
Here’s a tip — and more will be coming your way! Before you speak, consider the following:
- Whenever possible, learn the attitudes, needs, and beliefs of the audience, and identify their issues. Focus on what they want versus what you want to deliver.
- Understand the layout of the room in advance when you can. This small task will help you feel more confident during your presentation. Practice in this environment if possible.
- Rehearse your presentation—even if you are not sure if you will speak—whether it will be extemporaneous or planned. Lack of preparation is the number one reason why speeches go bad—and why people are overly nervous.
Be looking for ideas in managing anxiety, presentation construction, delivery and much more. Many people are realizing polishing this one skill separates them from the masses.
Perhaps that is the reason I am presenting Platform Power training and individual presentation coaching more than ever! Let me know if I can help you and your team improved this dreaded but essential skill. Having honed communication skills is critical in today’s environment – and yes, platform power is a communication skill.
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