For business leaders, the ability to speak and present ideas effectively is crucial for success. As a leader, your role is to persuade others and to create change. Moving others to fully buy-in to the ideas and changes you are proposing takes skill, and being able to present your message in a way that creates lasting change, will make your job easier.
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Most of us are uncomfortable with public speaking and would rather face a root canal. Even if you have developed some level of skill, here are some tips for being more comfortable, and for presenting your ideas in a way that will engage your audience.
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- Knowing your audience is crucial to a successful presentation. You know what you want and need, but are you clear on the needs and wants of your audience? Before you begin to develop your presentation or speech, do your research—it will pay off.
- Be conversational in your delivery—by practicing your material and knowing it inside and out, you don’t have to worry about missing points and you can relax. A conversational tone will appeal more to your audience. Practice, practice, practice.
- Tell a true story about yourself that relates to your material. People want to know who you are, not how much you know. By telling an authentic story about your life and yes, even about some failures you have experienced, you will come across as genuine and likeable.
- Don’t rush through your talk and don’t stand in one place with your arms at your side. Use energy and silence to deliver your message. Move around and use your hands. Stop and take a few seconds before moving onto the next point.
“The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause. ~ Mark Twain (1835-1910, American author and humorist)
For most people, becoming a skilled speaker and presenter takes time and practice. It’s an essential skill for success and using these tips will help to make you a more effective leader.