May 31, 2012

Simple things to develop public speaking and presenting confidence

It's quite common to fear public speaking. Getting in front of everybody and defending your point of view can be daunting. If you aren't good at it and would like, or need to, get better, here some tips.
  • Stand up. Literally. When in meetings or at a restaurant, get out of the chair and stand up. You can use whatever excuse you want. Say you’re stretching. The point here is to get used to you standing while others are seated. Stay up as long as you can.
  • This is a corollary of standing up. You need to enjoy the silence while standing up. A good presentation has good pauses. They are powerful. Don't be a chatterbox. 
  • Present it! Present to your dog, children or stranger at the bus stop. Get used to talking about the things you do to people that don’t necessarily care or understand them. They will give you feedback on how to dumb things down.
  • Watch as many presentations as you can on the subject you’re trying to get better at. Observe how presenters and consultants behave, the things they say and how they say them. 
  • Present other people’s ideas and presentations. Get a random slide deck from and present it. Don’t forget to give proper credits, of course. Then see what you’d have done differently if you were to create the slides yourself. 
  • Learn to keep track of time. It’s crucial to gain peoples trust that you will guide them through the meeting/presentation on time. Let people know you’re tracking time and what’s left of it. You can do this by going to have coffee with your work mates. Establish a time to do the task and track it.

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