Top 7 Ways to Improve Your Presentation Skills
By Jill Frank
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Anyone aspiring to work in an executive capacity must to have refined presentation skills, unless of course you are the President of the United States – sorry George. However, few people are naturally eloquent speakers. Public speaking is difficult for most, but with a little help, you can polish your skills and impress even the most critical audiences. Use the following ideas to diminish your anxiety and improve your presentations.
- Take a class.
This may seem like a obvious solution, but you would be surprised how many people never think of enrolling in a public speaking class. Ask your employer if they will offer one through their training department or bring in an outside program. If they aren’t receptive to the idea, check out your local college as most offer refresher classes.
- Join an organization dedicated to improving your public speaking skills.
Not only do you have a safe environment to practice, but you get objective feedback on your presentations so you know where you need to improve.
- Practice, practice, and then practice a little more.
If you have a speech to deliver, you should know it start to finish. Practice until you are comfortable with the material and it just rolls off your tongue.
- Video tape your practice sessions.
Most people hate to see themselves on TV, so that makes this especially difficult - but extremely effective. If you are serious about mastering public speaking, you need to see yourself as others see you. Watching yourself deliver a speech will help you determine your strengths and show you where you still need improvement. You’ll also get an opportunity to see that you’re probably not as bad as you think!
- Select topics that you are knowledgeable or passionate about.
It’s much easier to be engaging and comfortable when speaking about something you are experience in or have a lot of energy around. Stick to your strengths and you'll quickly build your confidence.
- Speak at every opportunity.
Speaking is like exercising a muscle, the more you use it, the better developed it becomes. So raise your hand the next time an opportunity arises – in all likelihood, you’ll be the only one.
- Relax and remember that people came to see YOU.
Chances are good that you are way more critical of yourself than anyone else. So take a deep breath and remember that you have something the audience wants – information – because that is where they are going to focus most of their attention.
Jill Frank is "The Promotion Coach." Get her FREE report, "7 Unintentional Actions That Will Slow Your Climb Up the Corporate Ladder" and FREE advice on corporate advancement at [http://www.corporateadvancementcoach.com]
Article Submitted On: October 31, 2006