Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Public Speaking: Examples From the Field

This past week a first year associate, a senior associate, an experienced partner and my fifth grade niece demonstrated four basic skills of all good public speakers:

1. They calmed and focused themselves by taking a deep breath before they began.
2. They spoke conversationally, varying their tone and using emphasis where appropriate.
3. They smiled and made eye contact with the audience as much as possible instead of looking down at their notes.
4. They engaged the audience with their own enthusiasm for the subject.

None of the four are Toastmasters or Dale Carnegie instructors. They aren't graduates of those groups or similar ones. Some of them used to be very reluctant public speakers. At least three of them have recently spent time focused on improving their public speaking skills. They spent that time well and it shows.

People paid them compliments about their various presentations and their ability to convey information naturally and simply. People acknowledged the speakers' knowledge level as well as their ability to relate to the audience. People acknowledged their organization. People approached them afterwards to ask follow up questions and to thank them. People singled them out to acknowledge them as being good speakers.

One of the formerly very reluctant ones even surprised herself this week with her own idea for a follow up presentation to a niche group of potential clients. "Holy cow!"

Two lessons:
1. You can and will become a better public speaker by working on it.
2. You can stand out by being a good public speaker.

Bonus: you may even start to enjoy public speaking. Imagine that.

When do you want to get started?

If you would like coaching to start being a better public speaker, please contact me.