Good presentation skills are no longer a nice skill to have; they can mean the difference between career life or death.
Do you have great ideas, but don’t have the confidence to share them?
Are you someone with true expertise, who is unsure how to let others know?
Is there a natural leader trapped inside you?
Fortunately, even if you are not a born speaker, the ability to present yourself and your ideas effectively can be learned – just ask my executive speech coaching clients.
Here are some tips to help you sound intelligent, powerful, polished, articulate and confident the next time you deliver a presentation, have a conversation with senior management, or network in your professional community. After all, outside of the privacy of your own home all speaking is public speaking.
To sound more intelligent:
Pace your words, speaking just a bit more slowly to allow yourself time to select the most appropriate vocabulary and to give the impression of thoughtfulness
To sound more powerful:
Use short, simple declarative sentences. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Cut out any useless conjunctions, adverbs, and adjectives – especially superlatives.
To sound more polished:
Never answer a question with a blunt ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ Append a short phrase of clarification. For example, “No, I did not see it.” “Yes, I know Mary.”
To sound more articulate:
Make a special effort to pronounce the final sound in a word and use its energy to carry over to the following word. Pay special attention to final ‘t’ and ‘ng.’
To sound more confident:
Take control of your message by making sure that your gestures and facial expressions support your words. Maintain an upright posture. Hold your head as if you are wearing a crown. Do not allow your arms and legs to move carelessly from side to side. Keep your elbows and knees close to the midline of your body.
Use these strategies to improve the quality of your speech in conversation, company meetings, and presentations. Nothing will help your career more than developing the ability to speak well with confidence.