The quote from Wizard of Oz is perfect if you are not comfortable giving presentations to your board of directors, boss, team or even a room full of prospects. This post is the first of a series on Secrets from a Communication Strategist to Create and Deliver Outstanding Presentations. Let me know how you enjoy this series.
Do you get nervous when you have to give a talk to your company?
Would you like to know how to calm the butterflies in your stomach?
Are you using specific communication strategies when you give presentations?
There are times in my career when I’m lucky enough to coach clients on how to communicate their thoughts successfully during presentations. Most of us are not professional speakers. There are communication strategies that we can all use to successfully speak to groups. The ideas in this post came from 3 recent coaching sessions. Let me know which one “speaks” to you.
Communication Strategy #1: Be Prepared
This sounds so basic, doesn’t it? We have to return to the basics when it comes to public speaking. Know your stuff. Look at your speech daily and read it out loud. Feeling comfortable with your speech is very important. Organizing your thoughts on paper takes time. Start with an introduction, create the body of the speech and end up with a powerful ending.
Communication Strategy #2: Memorize your Opening and Ending
Once clients feel comfortable with their speech, it’s time to create a powerful opening and closing. The opening can be a quote from a famous person, a provocative question or even a story of yours that will engage your group. The ending can consist of the same quote that you used in the introduction, a call to action, or to ask the audience to stay in touch. I strongly suggest that clients watch TED talks or successful speakers at their workplace to see how experienced communicators create outstanding speeches.
Communication Strategy #3: Be Authentic
My secret sauce is to take serious topics such as firing employees, dealing with mediocre team members or bullies and make them fun. At the beginning of my career, I hired a drama coach to help me understand where to stand on the stage, use my hands, and create powerful stories. I concentrated so much on these new strategies that I lost my personality. I wanted to be perfect in front of the audience. Once I realized that my authenticity disappeared, I had to decide which strategies to keep and which ones to eliminate.
Making people smile is something that I do quite naturally. I use my sarcasm, humor, and optimism to give them hope. This is something I coach clients to do also. I encourage them to find their secret sauce and use it! Sue started to quote from her book. She didn’t even think about this until our session. Brad started using his photography in his talks. His audience keeps on giving him positive feedback and he decided to create posters to sell at the presentations of his photos.
Stay Connected with Me
Please let us know how you faced fear and were able to move forward. I will tell you about my fear of deep water and the motivation why I conquered the fear in a future post. Add a comment to my blog on how you overcame fear and talked to your bully or boss or gave a speech even though your hands were visibly shaking from nerves.
You will receive a response from me because I enjoy connecting with my readers! 🙂 You are always welcome to send me a private email with concerns about a future talk that you need to create. After only a few coaching sessions you will use powerful communication strategies that I learned over 30 years ago from attending conferences at the National Speaker’s Association.
Please contact me at 800.713.1926 to explore how career coaching could be a great action step for your career development.
There are many options to fit your budget and time schedule! 🙂
Please click the link below to read an article on 6 Steps to Hire the Best Communication Strategist Best Suited for Your Company.
6 tips to select the communication strategist best suited for your organization pdf
Until next time,
Joyce Weiss, M.A., CSP
Career Coach and Communication Strategist
Have a great week.
Remember, YOU Get What YOU Tolerate!
PS Career Advancement is like riding a bike. Shift Gears from coasting to owning the road!