Following is an excerpt based on the second edition of The Truth About Public Speaking: The Three Keys to Great Presentations. Buy it here or at your favorite bookseller.
Most people tend to think that presentation skills are important only when they watch someone deliver a speech. But this aptitude is crucial to success in any walk of life. Take teaching, for example. When my daughter was still in school some years ago, my wife and I attended a back-to-school night, where parents got to rotate through all of their children’s classrooms and hear from all the teachers.
After listening to some of the “educators” for a scant ten minutes, it amazed me how the kids stay awake for an hour or more while being subjected to some of these zombie-like drones.
It so happens that one of my daughter’s favorites in middle school was an English instructor. It was easy to see why. She had told me that this teacher kept things fun. Boy, was she right.
“The Truth About Public Speaking offers advice that aids speakers whether they plan to address the local United Way chapter or the United Nations.”
— Former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell
In a short seven-minute talk, he had the parents eating out of his hand. He challenged them to begin thinking about college for their middle schoolers, explained what the youngsters would be learning during the course of the year, and did it all with a marvelous sense of humor and terrific delivery within his allotted time frame. His Video and Audio Tools were working in high gear.
When you think about it, sharp presentation skills put you ahead of the pack no matter your endeavor. You may not stand in front of the room every day like a teacher. But you interact constantly in the workplace, delivering mini-presentations to co-workers. Have you ever noticed that the ones who get those fat raises and promotions year after year tend to be the stellar communicators?
Your executive may be one of those who is hesitant to firm up their communications abilities. You can help both them and your organization by serving as a catalyst for improvement. The benefits are many. Get to work to turn the boss’ “no” into an enthusiastic “yes!”
I do not want to leave you with the impression that an ace presentation involves little more than a strong voice and appealing manner.
Your personal integrity is at stake every time you address a crowd. You must believe in what you say. If you just go through the motions, your audience will sense your lack of commitment. People can intuitively sniff out a fake.
Word spreads quickly when it involves your reputation. One phony move and your integrity will lie in tatters. Once damaged, it is next to impossible to stitch together that pile of rags into a gown for the ball.
Truthfulness, credibility, and passion are hallmarks of top-flight presenters. Be sure to pack these qualities in your briefcase as you prepare to speak before any audience.
Load up on the three books that help you sharpen your communications edge in any situation:
- Reporters Don’t Hate You: 100+ Amazing Media Relations Strategies
- A+ Strategies for C-Suite Communications: Turning Today’s Leaders into Tomorrow’s Influencers
- The Truth About Public Speaking: The Three Keys to Great Presentations