Who is the greatest presenter of all?
This is a bit of an ambiguous question I know but just have a think about who YOU think is a really good presenter – on TV; at work, a public speaker, a politician, sitting in a conference; a meeting. Now ask yourself why they stand out, what was it about them that made it so memorable.
Now have a think about the rather larger percentage of really bad presenters that you have seen – what do you remember about those? I can guarantee the answer will probably be ‘nothing’ or ‘how boring it was.’
OK last one – now have a think about how you present yourself (not just necessarily standing up to speak in front of a big audience) but how you communicate with people – your colleagues, clients in meetings etc. Does your communication style differ from personal to business – a tenner says it does.
We hear time and time again about long, boring, unimaginative presentations/speeches and unsuccessful business pitches that have to be endured because nobody really remembers what was said.
Business people are constantly looking for ways to improve business: the sales, the profits, the size of their business, their employees but really what it all boils down to is, they underestimate the fact that improvements often start with themselves.
We get asked to work with a variety of people from wide spanning backgrounds and business sectors to improve their communication presentation/speaking skills. In some cases, we are asked to mask the name of the training (Confident Communication & Presentation Skills) to make it look like something else!! WHY? Because some think that it is an easy thing to do to stand up and present EFFECTIVELY and don’t realise how shockingly bad they really are. Just because they have worked hard on their career and are incredibly knowledgeable about their chosen field, that does not automatically mean they are good at presenting. The trouble is, nobody likes to tell them so.
Just think about top sports people and athletes – they have risen to the top of their game but they still have on going coaching and training – Roger Federer still works with his tennis coach every day even though he is the world No 1. There are always improvements to be made.
The thing about making the changes to how you present is that we are not reinventing the wheel and we are not teaching you anything new – all we are doing is guiding you to stop interfering with how you communicate naturally as a human being! You have to stop for a minute and have a good look at yourself. Awareness is 80% of change.
Here are some Top Tips to be aware of when you present!
- Smile!(not the big cheesy, toothy, LA smile) we’re talking about the smile in the eyes – this is where the passion you have for your job should be shining from!
- Speak slowly– If you rattle off a presentation at the speed of an express train – be assured, your audience will have got off at the first stop.
- Full Stops– Although you are speaking, not writing, you STILL NEED full stops. Not only does it allow your audience the chance to absorb what you have said, it also gives you chance to breathe.
- Connect with your audience – whether it is one person or a room full – make that eye contact and really engage with them so they are hungry to hear what you have got to say.
- Use your whole body – your voice and your body are connected. If you don’t allow your body and hands to move naturally, your voice will become boring and monotonal. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz say no more!
Most people spend 99% of their preparation time for a presentation on what is being said – the words, the content, the slides, but only 1% on how they are saying it.
Take a look in that mirror – what do you see?