I salute those that are striving to improve their public speaking and presentation skills. It’s not always an easy thing to do, especially if one was born introverted, with a learning challenge of some kind, is not a native speaker of the working language or simply was never used to or trained in how to handle “the spotlight.”
These days advancing your public speaking and presentation skill-set almost isn’t an option. In business a successful person needs great communication skills, now more than ever. In the old days there were those that were comfortable speaking, usually from sales and marketing departments for example, that were asked to do most of the public speaking and meeting running. Technical folks could sit in the back of the room silently, or just keep working away on their computer. Not so these days.
Many of my clients are technically brilliant people, who have achieved a high measure of success in their own right. But they have been asked (or told) by upper management or have learned through experience that to be truly successful these days one must attempt to master the soft skills as well as the hard skills. Job security seems to depend on adaptability and duo skill-set performance now.
These days I’m doing a lot of ‘Podium Power’ coaching. Clients range from doctors and lawyers to accountants and managers at various levels in the company. Some are immigrants with the additional challenge of having English as a second language. Some have speech impediments, get bad stage fright, or have Asperger’s syndrome/autism. I strive to teach them the finer points of how to quickly and efficiently improve their 3Vs (verbal, vocal, visual) of public speaking, presentations and PowerPoint, staying within my areas of expertise.
I just wanted to say that I really appreciate and applaud those that are struggling to learn a new way of communication that is out of their comfort zone, or that pushes them past their old, comfortable one. It takes courage, dedication and maybe even a little kick in the butt to take up the task of improving public speaking communication skills, but I believe it is good to challenge oneself and I also believe it will pay off handsomely in today’s business world, as well as with our social communications. Let’s be honest, they need some work these days too, right? Everyone is constantly staring at their smart phones and tablets, rarely looking up as they mumble? But that’s a topic for another day!