Do you need a presentation skills coach?
At Mindful Presenter we help professionals who have been presenting extensively for many years to a wide range of audiences.
They just want to see if there are any new ‘tools’ to give them ‘the edge’
Others are very new to the skill and are keen to be the very best that they can and avoid bad habits right from the start.
Many are terrified at the prospect of presenting to colleagues or customers and simply want to feel more confident on their feet whilst speaking.
The range of reasons is diverse, yet we believe the goal is generally always the same. We all want to make an impact, a difference and to connect emotionally as well as intellectually with our audience.
Do these groups need a presentation skills coach?
Here are 9 characteristics we see in some of our clients each week that many don’t readily see for themselves.
It’s quite likely that many of these will apply to you even though you may not appreciate it.
If you recognise them in yourself, you probably don’t need a presentation skills coach.
1. You speak plainly
It’s such a joy to hear professionals keep it simple when they are presenting their ideas.
These are the people who know they have something important to share. They speak plainly and avoid the jargon.
They present as though they are speaking with friends, they use short sentences, simple language and give us examples.
2. You are prepared to be vulnerable
In such an ego-centric world, these are the professionals who ditch the bravado. They let us see who they really are?
These are the people who instead of loving hearing themselves speak, love to connect with their audience.
They let them into their lives a little, share their thoughts, feelings and opinions and aren’t obsessed with being judged.
3. There’s something about your face…
I don’t mean that you are better looking than the average person; it’s far simpler than that.
There is nothing more infectious than a genuine smile when you are sitting in the audience listening to someone speak.
You can see that they are comfortable up there and so it makes you feel good.
When a presenter’s facial expressions are congruent with their words, their audience get to feel their message, as well as hear it.
Have you ever heard a speaker tell you how passionate they are about the topic they are speaking on, yet they’ve forgotten to tell their face?
4. You look good
It may sound a little shallow to many but I warm more to presenters who dress for the occasion.
If you’re a man, it doesn’t mean you have to wear a tie all of the time but a nice fitting suit and polished shoes can work well. Smart business casual can be very pleasing on the eye too.
For ladies, business attire is usually also a business suit or dress /skirt and jacket.
It’s very common in many businesses today to adopt a ‘business casual’ style of dress. That’s great, as long as you look smart.
Have you ever noticed that you are far more likely to take a presenter more seriously if they are dressed well?
5. You are interested
These are the speakers who pay far more attention to being interested in their audience than hearing themselves speak.
It goes without saying of course that your audience want you to be interesting but not at their expense.
It’s extremely endearing to listen to a presenter speak who has clearly done their homework and research. You don’t need a presentation skills coach to understand your audience and speak with the sole intention of making a difference to them.
6. You tell stories
How many articles have you read telling you how important it is to connect with your audience through telling them stories?
Stories allow your audience to see your personality.
They breathe life into your message.
When a speaker shares a true, personal story that is relevant to the topic, you are far more likely to relate to them and remember their story.
7. You don’t take yourself too seriously
Being professional doesn’t mean you have to be deadly serious all of the time.
You can have a very important and serious message to deliver and still lighten up a little.
There is something really captivating about a speaker who can deliver a serious message in a way that allows them to show a sense of humour, warmth and ease.
8. You have an interesting voice
There is nothing more painful than listening to a speaker who has a monotonous voice.
Every audience needs to be stimulated and engaged through changes in the presenters volume, pitch, tone and pace.
Our voice is one of our greatest gifts when it comes to capturing and holding an audience’s attention.
9. You make the sky blue
I live in London in the UK, where we often have enough rain in a month to prompt me to consider building my own ark.
As I sat down to write this article in my office, an ‘alien’ stream of sunlight hit the screen of my laptop.
It wasn’t my imagination, true enough there was a huge patch of bright blue sky right before my eyes.
It struck me that every week we work with professionals who despite never having had any formal presentation training know exactly how to make the ‘sky blue’.
Their message is clear, relevant and compelling
They speak and move with a sense of warmth and ease that makes you feel good.
They help you to relax, breathe and enjoy the moment.
We all feel great when the sky is blue and the sun is shining down on us.
We each already have these 9 characteristics available to us
Some people already have the confidence, presence and grace to use them naturally when presenting. Others have to work a little harder to make them visible and effective.
If you are one of those speakers who already:
– Speaks plainly
– Knows how to be vulnerable
– Uses your face
– Looks good
– Is interested in your audience
– Tells stories
– Doesn’t take yourself too seriously
– Has an interesting voice
– Makes the sky blue
You don’t need a presentation skills coach; although you may want one to help you to see and believe it for yourself.
If you need help to enable your audience to really benefit from these gifts we all have but perhaps just need a little polishing then there is plenty you can do.
Don’t try to perfect each of these characteristics each time you speak. Pick one or two each time and work at them until it feels right for you and your audience.
If you do still need a good presentation skills coach:
– Book yourself onto a powerful public speaking course.
– Invest in some really good one to one public speaking coaching.
– Get yourself some excellent presentation training
Image: Courtesy of www.dreamstime.com