So why do you care about how good of a presenter you are? Hey, if you’ve been able to keep from bursting into flames when you address a staff meeting, a department, or even bigger gatherings then haven’t you really done enough? For many people, the answer to this question is “yes”. And they just leave it at that. But, how about you – are you content to be just “ok”. Or would you like to be just a little bit better than everyone else out there?
No matter how well you’ve done in the rest of your life, how much money you’ve made, how far you’ve risen in your career, or how ever else you choose to measure success by, you can become a great presenter. The only thing that is holding you back is your desire to become better. If you are willing to make the commitment, then you will have made the first step toward presenting greatness.
I hate to say it, but you know what you need to do – you’ve got to tell someone that you want to become a great presenter. Yeah, yeah, this can be horribly embarrassing – they might think that it’s silly and what if you fail?
However, this is a journey that you are starting on and it can become easy to lose your way or to become disheartned after a presentation doesn’t go the way that you wanted it to. Having told someonw what you are trying to do means that you’ve made a public commitment and so you are much more likely to stick to it.
So now we move on to the next step: where to look for ways to improve our presenting skills. I’m hoping that I don’t have to remind you that Toastmasters is an orgainzation that you really need to join. Keep in mind that there are a lot of really good presenters out there that we can study from.
There are more books, CDs, DVDs, classes, webinars, etc. than you can shake a stick at just waiting for you to show some interest. Additionally, history has shown us who the great presenters were: Woodrow Wilson, Senator Daniel Webster, Winston Churchill, Martin Luther King, etc. Their words and even thier speeches have been recorded and are available for you to study. Learn, learn, learn!
I’m almost done, but the one final though that I’d like to leave you with is to realize that you are sitting on a gold mine of personal stories that can help you move your presentations from good to great. As you improve your technique for delivering presentations, you also need to improve the content of what you are presenting.
This means that you need to make it more interesting. The one thing that grabs everyone’s attention no matter what the topic that you are presenting on, is personal stories. These are stories that we’ve not heard before and so we want to know more.
No matter how boring you may think that your life has been, to others it will be a source of endless fascination. Write down the stories that make up your life and then start to study how they can be worked into your presentations. You’ll soon go from good to great!
Do you have someone that you could confide in that you are going to work on becoming a better presetner? Do you have a favorite public speaker that you think that you could learn from? Is there any historiacle figure that really impresses you with their ability to present? Leave me a comment and let me know what you are thinking.