Now is a great time to start becoming the presenter you always dreamed you could be.
Nearly everyone I meet professionally says they want to be a successful presenter. In fact, they want to be superstars. When I ask them to evaluate their own abilities, many say theirs are seriously lacking. Well, they aren’t alone. A recent online poll claimed that 83% of all presentations are just fair or poor. Only 17% are very good or great. Are you one of the 17%? You could be, and it is not as hard as you might think. After all, you only need to do a few things better than the 83% who are not doing them. Here are two of the best approaches to becoming a superstar speaker:
1. Get more practice—a lot more. Many people present once or twice a year, quarterly, or monthly. No wonder they feel inept! This is like my golf skills; I play once or twice a year and then wonder why I don’t develop a better swing.
But speaking is different; we do it every day. Every day you speak to customers on the phone, or your team in the daily meeting, or your colleagues in the lunchroom. If you begin to treat these as mini presentations, you will be able to develop the skills and habits you need for the “big” presentations; things like body language, the ability to use your voice effectively, and the ability to stay focused and think on your feet. You will even be able to practice creating and delivering messages, not just facts. These are skills and habits you can develop and practice every day to be a better communicator. Once you develop these, presenting in front of larger groups won’t seem as daunting, because you have been practicing the skills constantly.
2. Get balanced, realistic feedback. So many of us are extremely tough on ourselves. We have a hard time believing that we have the skills and strengths to communicate effectively. We are quick and harsh when pointing out our own shortcomings. At length. When they see themselves on videos, many of our clients look right past their strengths to focus on their perceived weaknesses.
To get a more realistic picture, try using our Presentation Feedback Worksheet™ to explore both strengths and weaknesses. Good habits and bad. We encourage you to treat yourself with respect and kindness, just as you would if you were helping a friend or colleague. We also urge you to take a balanced approach; for every negative you see, try to discover a positive. This is not indulgent; it is necessary for you to understand your strengths so you can take courage from them, and begin to build your personal style on them. In this way you can feel like the authentic communicator you always dreamed you can be.
By building your self-awareness, building on your innate strengths, and patiently eliminating bad habits and behaviors, you can build the skills and habits you need to be one of the 17%. You know, a superstar presenter.