Acquiring a skill takes time. About 10,000 hours, if you believe Malcolm Gladwell’s research.
If you want to be a polished speaker, for example, it’s best to immerse yourself in the discipline.
Allow yourself to grow into the new skill set through a routine of dedicated study, experiential learning, and monitored feedback loops.
But when your boss asks you to assemble an awesome presentation for a major client inside of just four hours, you may have to skip the immersion and dedicated study.
Want to be a great speaker, like, tomorrow?
Here are 5 cool ideas that will help you become a better speaker quite quickly. You might begin improving, by not using the word “like” as frequently.
1. Search YouTube for the top speakers in your line of work. Focus on people who are better presenters than you so you can learn from them. If you happen upon some crappy speakers, pay attention so you can be reminded of what not to do.
2. Eliminate 10% of your weakest PowerPoint slides right now. Trust me, no one will miss them, including you. Start by taking out the slides that have you saying something like, “You probably can’t see this from the back of the room.”
3. Record yourself. If listening to a recording of yourself will make you want to quit your job, watching a video of yourself may give you thoughts of suicide. But hang in there (pun not intended, but I kinda like it). Recording yourself is painful, but it is without a doubt the fastest way for you to discover what needs to be fixed.
4. Study a helpful information product, preferably a DVD. Reading about speaking is like watching the radio to learn how to dance.
5. All good presentations end with a call to action. Make sure you conclude every presentation by asking the audience to do something. The call to action doesn’t have to involve a business transaction. Learn more from the Present Like a Pro DVD, my best information product on the subject.
From Royal Oak, Michigan-
Michael Angelo Caruso, 248-224-9667
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