10 Steps to Your Success

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What separates the really good speaker from the “Just OK” speaker. How can you move to the next level of presenting? Look over this list and start incorporating many of these ideas in your next presentations.

  1. Personalize the presentation to the group. Use examples, stories, visuals, people’s names, and their products. Talk about their industry. Make your points relevant to their specific interests. In my presentation seminars I always show before and after visual examples. I use the company’s visuals so they are personalized for them.
  2. Tell stories. Audiences love to hear about how someone else solved a problem, dealt with a crisis, or used a product that gave great results. Look through your presentation and find two to three places (this depends how long the talk is) where you can tell a story. Don’t settle for giving your audience just facts.
  3. Identify your own type of humor and use it. Some people are good at ad libs. Some people are wonderful joke tellers. Be careful though. Don’t tell a joke unless you are sure it will work. You aren’t speaking as a comedian. If you aren’t good at jokes, don’t tell them. And if you do tell jokes, be sure your joke will not offend anyone. And, make sure you relate it to the topic.
  4. Use emotion when you talk. You probably aren’t being hired to be a motivational speaker, but you are expected to keep your audience awake and alive as you talk. Emphasize words. Share your excitement. Dare to go beyond your usual way of talking. Your audience will love the energy you have. Go take a weekend acting course. I have taken improvisational acting and movement weekend seminars and find them wonderfully invigorating. My presentations and general communications become more alive and to-the-point. When you challenge yourself, your presentations will take on a new life.
  5. Be yourself. We have all seen incredible presenters and compare ourselves to them. First off, those presenters may have had much more interesting subject matter. Those presenters may have spent years practicing. Those presenters probably have a coach who coaches them before every talk. Think about it. You’d be dynamite also. But most of us live in the real world. Sit down, evaluate how you can be as effective as possible in your business, your presentation arena and then go about accomplishing that task in your own individual manner.
  6. Find a coach. A presentation coach can help you get better. As you look for one, you want someone who will nurture your personality. You don’t want to be trained to be someone you’re not. Be sure that coach will help you by identifying your strengths and the areas you could work on in order to improve your presentations. If you use visuals, you want the coach to be able to give you ideas on how your visuals can enhance your presentation style. Ask the coach to tell you his or her philosophy of coaching. If you feel comfortable with philosophy, then work with the person.

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