In his Little Green Book of Getting Your Way, author Jeffrey Gitomer writes: If I had a dollar for every corporate leader, from CEOs to branch managers, who had lousy presentation skills, Id be a multi-billionaire. If you would like to rise above 95% of all people in the marketplace, then begin now by studying presentation skills.
Telling your story
Execs need to learn the fine art of public speaking
I couldnt agree more.
Im always amazed that people get to be top executives without learning the fundamentals of good communication, including public speaking. How can someone be called a leader if that person is unable to articulate a vision and a philosophy to colleagues and outside groups? As a matter of course, anyone who wishes to be successful in any kind of work would do well to learn the art of communicating.
Most people literally freeze up when they are asked to speak to a group. They dont know what to do. CEOs usually have speechwriters they can turn to for a prepared script, which they then read verbatim to the audience. That stilted presentation is an insult to listeners who not only are bored to tears but also have better things to do with their precious time.
So what is a CEO or anybody who gives a talk to do? Is there a game plan for preparing yourself for speaking engagements? Maybe some of these hints will help:
These are all common-sense suggestions, and they are important to anyone who wants to make a difference as a speaker. However, none of these ideas will matter much if you havent prepared yourself by rehearsing the talk. Give the talk several times to others. Videotape it and watch it. Whatever you do, dont go in front of any audience until you are prepared to do your absolute best.
Charles S. Lauer is the former vice president- publishing and editorial director of Modern Healthcare. He now is a consultant to the healthcare industry and also serves on the boards of healthcare companies.
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