A skill that I believe to be very important is the ability to speak publicly
, ranging from saying your thoughts in a small meeting to a big presentation to hundreds of people.
Some people are lucky are find this a fairly easy thing to do, but for most of us it can be quite a stressful but with practice everyone can become a good public speaker.
To be come better at public speaking there are a number of things you can do, My top 5 suggestions would be:
- Know what your material - make sure you have a full understanding of your subject matter, that way the presentation feels more like a conversation, and questions wont throw you off.
- Practice - at home, in front of a mirror just give your presentation over and over again until your conftable and know what your saying. Get a friend to watch and evaluate if you can
- Study - watch other presentations (Dragons Den online is a good place to do this) and evaluate them see if they move around the room, use there hands.
- Know your area - if passable go to where you are going to present and do a test run make sure all the technology works and that your voice can be heard at the back of the room.
- Lead your power points! - if you are using a power point presentation, make sure you are not just reading off the slides! Power points are meant to be for visual use to keep people visually stimulated so have as few words as passable, never more than bullet points and use lots of pictures.
There are lots of online sources with more hints this list in particular I thought was quite good, taken from the linked website where there is much more information about public speaking.
Hints and Tips for Effective Public Speaking
Here are just a few hints, public speaking tips and techniques to help you develop your skills and become far more effective as a public speaker.
Mistakes are all right.
Recovering from mistakes makes you appear more human.
Good recovery puts your audience at ease - they identify with you more.
Tell jokes if you're good at telling jokes.
If you aren't good, best to leave the jokes behind.
There's nothing worse than a punch line that has no punch.
Gentle humour is good in place of jokes.
Self-deprecation is good, but try not to lay it on too thick.
Stories make you a real person not just a deliverer of information.
Use personal experiences to bring your material to life.
No matter how dry your material is, you can always find a way to humanise it.
How to use the public speaking environment
Try not to get stuck in one place.
Use all the space that's available to you.
One way to do this is to leave your notes in one place and move to another.
If your space is confined (say a meeting room or even presenting at a table) use stronger body language to convey your message.
Speak to your audience not your slides.
Your slides are there to support you not the other way around.
Ideally, slides should be graphics and not words (people read faster than they hear and will be impatient for you to get to the next point).
If all the technology on offer fails, it's still you they've come to hear
I Hope that some of this helped :)