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Work Presentations: 4 Pro Tips for Quick Improvements

September, 9 2019

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Dr. Brynn
Written By
Dr. Brynn

4 Tips from a Professional Speaker on how to Quickly & Noticeably Improve Your Presenting Skills

In a recent interview, I was asked this question:

"Given the fact that you are a successful Professional Speaker who speaks publicly for a living, what advice might you have for someone wanting to overcome their fear of public speaking at work?" 

This is a great question that I think about a lot – partly because I give training in this area, partly because of my own profession (Professor, executive training, TV correspondence, keynote speeches, youtube channel etc.), and partly because I have seen first-hand how instrumental overcoming this fear can be for people in their careers.

Here are some of my top tips, taken directly from my courses on developing one’s influence, leadership presence, and presentation skills:

  1. Effective Public Speaking is a SKILL, meaning it *can* be LEARNED
    • Many people I speak with will tell me things like they ‘just aren’t natural born leaders’ or ‘they weren’t born with the gene for public speaking’ – hogwash say I – these are skills which means they can be learned, if you're willing to try.
  2. ‘Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day’
      • Like any others, public speaking skills take time, attention, diligence and practice – don’t expect that one course or one quick-ditch effort will net you huge improvements. This is a process, one that will take energy, effort, sweat, maybe even tears. It’s a process very well worth embarking on and going through to advance yourself in life, grow as a person, develop your career – no matter what your role or who you are (in my humble opinion) – but it will be challenging and take time. Consider yourself forewarned (and therefore forearmed! J).
  3. Video Record Your Presentations (you’ll learn things about yourself you never knew!)
        • I do this exercise in just about all of my courses on influence, leadership, executive presence, presenting and presentation skills: give a speech to others (practice makes perfect!) and video record it. At the outset it often strikes my course participants with visible fear, though very often after the course, people will message me and tell me it was by far the most valuable exercise of the whole day in terms of how it propelled their leadership presence, presenting and communications skills.
        • Incidentally, I learned this trick the hard way – in front of a viewership of about 2 million people one evening in 2011... let me tell you a story: As a young Professor I was first asked to do live national news commentary on a topical story for the University, about 8 years ago. I happily obliged thinking to myself that while I hadn’t done live television broadcasts before, I had taught for hours in front of some 70000+ students, had spent 10 years in a corporate career doing formal presentations, and had given many talks at academic conferences etc. – I was a natural, right? Wrong. While I filmed the broadcast live, when I watched it back later, I cringed in embarrassment and hid under my duvet for the better part of 2 hours. Why? Well, despite my feeling confident in what I was saying and even how I was saying it, ultimately what I thought I was putting out there in terms of my communication style, tone of voice, mannerisms, facial expressions, body language, choice of wording etc. and how I actually came across (even to myself!) were two very different things. The differences between the actual episode of public speaking (on national TV for the whole world to see) and my perceived performance was both significant and undesirable. So began a highly concerted effort to align the actual and perceived and I consciously worked on and practiced, practiced, practiced my presentations, speeches, and television appearances after this day. It’s a work in progress, and something I love to do, but I didn’t know if was work I needed to get done until that first, fateful newscast back in 2011.
  4. Practice, Practice, Practice
          • Effective public speaking is a skill, and like any skill or worthy performance, it requires practice. Even those that ‘look like they were born with it’ or make it look easy – they pull this off because they practice, somehow, over and over again. Also just like any skill, it is possible to become ‘out of practice’ – so if you take a hiatus or haven’t presented in a while, don’t expect it’ll all just come back to you ‘like riding a bicycle’. The best in the business know that no matter how experienced you are, how many presentations or speeches you have given, diligent practice is a must!

Are you looking for further insight or inspiration for developing your ability to communicate and present persuasively at work? Join me and 24 others for a full-day of 'Influence & Leadership Presence' training where I will be able to show you the science behind how our presentation skills are received and built, and how you can quickly and effectively come across with more confidence, mastery, dominance, and influence on any subject, at work.

Register here: www.bit.ly/DrBrynnInfluence

 

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#publicspeaking #workpresentations #influence #leadership #executivepresence #professionalspeaker #eventprofs #business #brainscience #worklife #careerlife #careertips

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