b Self-Helpless: True Tales of a Working Girl: Blah, Blah, Blah... and Other Incoherent Words

9/27/2006

 

Blah, Blah, Blah... and Other Incoherent Words

Top-notch presentation skills are a must in business. I can't tell you how many times I sat in meetings and suffered through bad speaker after bad speaker. That isn't because I don't want to tell you, it's simply because I lost count of how many bad speakers there are out there.

Believe me, I get it; not everyone is a natural-born public speaker. For most, these skills only come with a lot of practice. However, if you have a job that places you in front of people on a fairly regular basis (oh I don't know, like maybe in SALES), it's really in your best interest to learn how to present well.

It's a pet peeve of mine to listen to the repeated, "Ahhh's" and "Ummm's". It makes you sound ridiculous. Again, I'm talking about people that speak in front of others on a regular basis. This bad habit is distracting, and to me, is the equivalent of sitting with your mouth open and letting all the flies in. We all know how cool you look when you do THAT!

So what can you do to brush up on your presentation skills?

First of all: Get a clue! Know what you're going to talk about. It's easier to talk about things you know. So get on it and do your research.

Be clear! If you ordinarily have a difficult time conveying a coherent thought (and so many in business fall into this sad category), it's time to write out what you want to say and make sure it makes sense.

Don't read! If we want you to get up and do a reading, we'll call on you. Otherwise, put some effort into your presentation and try to at least remember the key points.

Sound human! We know you sometimes don't act like one, but if you're going to pull off an act in front of others, make sure you don't sound robotic. A monotone voice quickly turns an audience off. They'll never get your message.

These are just some things off the top of my head. Work on that for a bit and I'll be back tomorrow.

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