Being able to speak in public can change your life.
It can get you a job, a raise or a promotion. It can get you a higher grade, a bigger sale or a life partner. It can help you sell your ideas, promote your business or expand your vision. It can also transform the way you feel about who you are, what you know, and how you present your story to the world.The question is: how do you get from where you are today to the point where you can enjoy all those benefits?
As a corporate trainer, I have seen this scenario play out thousands of times. In training centers, boardrooms and conference halls around the world, people attend a seminar called ‘Effective Presentation Skills’ or some variation on that theme. They usually show up because they have no choice. Their boss sent them, or they dragged themselves there to learn how to deal with an upcoming presentation they would rather not deliver. Or maybe they are in a class or career where presentations are mandatory. Whatever the reason, they would rather be anywhere else in the world at that moment.
Then, just two days later, if they have opened their minds, listened calmly, and participated actively, they start to look, sound, and appear different from the time they walked in. They stand straighter. They smile more confidently. Their voices begin to project to the back of the conference room. So, what happened? Can people really change that quickly? Yes, without a doubt. People who learn to give presentations face up to one of the biggest human fears – speaking in public.
Yes, the world is divided into two kinds of people: those who speak in public and those who dread the thought. Yet, the truth is, we are all potential presenters.
Presenting may be called for in a social situation or a professional context. You could be debating an issue with your family over dinner, delivering a toast at a friend’s retirement party, describing your background at an interview, chairing a business meeting, or motivating a crowd of hundreds. Whether formal or informal, what all these events have in common is that you are speaking and a number of people are listening. All eyes are on you and all ears are focused on what you have to say. So what’s the best way to get the job done?
Like all professionals, a master presenter makes the act look easy. In reality, memorable presentations require a combination of personal and professional elements. The good news is that it is completely possible to train yourself to develop these important skills, no matter where you stand today on the fear index.
This website takes you step by tiny step into the world of public speaking and presentations. Nothing has been left out. All the components of success are right here. There are no other secrets. Some of the elements you will cover include how to:
- prepare effectively for a presentation
- establish rapport with your audience
- project strong body language
- overcome fear and nervousness
- organize information to suit your purpose
- design powerful visual aids to support you
- handle question and answer sessions confidently
I invite you to delve in. Suspend your disbelief, and do your best to apply whatever you read here the next time you give a presentation. If you have the desire to learn, I will teach you the techniques. No matter how you feel right now, you can master the skills you need to become a memorable and impressive speaker and presenter.