I don’t know about you, but this question fills me with… excitement! I love public speaking. Maybe it’s just my character style or the years of presenting practice; I welcome every opportunity to stand up and educate people.
I know that some people have a fear of public speaking. A dread of being looked at by an audience. Being the centre of attention.
I have been asked many times how to become a confident public speaker.
For me it’s all about confidence. There are many great books on how to.. and public speaking trainers available; one of my favorites is Brian Tracy. I believe that anyone can learn the techniques. Far more important is the confidence to stand up and speak.
I feel that it starts with knowing your subject – If you don’t know what it is you are talking about, then how are you going to share your message with others?
Then it’s about self confidence and belief in yourself. This is often the biggest stumbling block. Some people think that the audience will eat them alive, or boo and hiss… usually the people in the audience are thinking, “I’m glad it’s not me!”
I think that, with the right preparation of the subject and materials, a great presentation comes from the heart – a passion delivered professionally will captivate an audience and get your point across.
After all, what is a presentation? It is just selling an idea to more than one person at a time.
I was asked to train a sales manager of a technical service company to do presenting. After they had learnt the good practices of the ‘how to’ we focused on their confidence. They put a fantastic presentation together and wowed the audience. The sales manager just needed a few skills and a chest full of confidence (not arrogance) and they now deliver great presentations.
I recommend ‘The Science of Self Confidence” & “Speak on your Feet”, both by Brian Tracy, for anyone wanting to improve their presentation skills.
… and remember; fail to prepare, prepare to fail!