Standing in front of a group of people and delivering a presentation can be an overwhelming experience as you try to keep your nervous energy from leaking out everywhere. Many people don’t like the spotlight to shine directly on them and when you are in front of the room, there’s no place to hide.
In this episode, I’ll build off the information I shared in Show #12, and take you from just preparing your material to delivering a memorable and impactful presentation. I share with you seven skills and techniques that you can use to increase your confidence and boost the effectiveness of your delivery.
PLUS, don’t miss this week’s Take Action Challenge and implement this week’s coaching tips.
Do you manage people? If so, get tools and strategies you need to take the fear out of feedback with my book You Have to Say the Words: An Integrity-Based Approach for Tackling Tough Conversations and Maximizing Performance. You can find the paperback or digital version at Amazon, Barnes & Noble or your local book seller.
So enjoy this week’s episode of The Nimble Leader show. I appreciate you listening and I hope you tune in next week!
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TAKE ACTION CHALLENGE:
To help you stay nimble, here is this week’s Take Action Challenge. Take these 3 action steps in the next week.
1. Practice your eye gaze this week. As you are speaking at a regular business meeting, practice holding peoples gaze for 3 seconds before moving on. If you and a group of people who are game, try this exercise. Have one person stand in front of the group and everyone else in the group raises their hand. The person in front of the room starts talking about something simple like their commute to work, or their favorite weekend routine. As the speaker is talking they should make eye contact with one individual. The individual with their hand raised starts counting to 3 and when the gaze is held for 3 seconds, they lower their hand. If the speaker breaks eye contact, the person doesn’t lower their hand and starts to count again. The goal is to make eye contact with each person for at least three seconds and get all the hands down. This is a great exercise to help you feel how long 3 seconds actually is. Most people under estimate the time.
2. Ask a friend to videotape your next presentation for you. There is nothing like going to the videotape to help you see exactly what you are doing with your platform skills, body language and tone. You will notice right away if you have any distracting mannerisms or if you use pesky filler words like ah or um. Most of what you will see on the tape will surprise you as it is often just outside of our consciousness. You might ring your hands, rock back and forth or say um every other sentence and have no knowledge that you do. It can be a startling wake-up call for you but it is an incredibly valuable learning tool if you can get past the discomfort of being taped.
3. I’d like to recommend again a tremendous resource to help you hone your presentation skills. The first I mentioned this resource in Show #12, but it is too good to leave out of this Action Plan. Attend a toastmaster meeting. The Toastmasters organization has been a huge support for me in providing a safe place for me to practice both my organization and platform skills. The personal support and feedback I receive from my fellow toastmasters is priceless to me. Look for a club near you and attend a couple of different meetings to get a sense for which club is the best fit for your needs. My club meets every other Saturday morning and our dress code is casual, so in Orlando that usually means shorts. Other clubs can be sponsored by a company and may have a more formal atmosphere since people are meeting during or just outside of work hours. If you don’t find one nearby, consider starting one in your business! It is some of the best money you can spend for personal development, and some of the least expensive.