There is opportunity when you or someone from your company is asked to present at a conference, or be part of an expert panel at an industry luncheon. However, too often this opportunity to put your organization in the spotlight is lost in a blah presentation. If the person speaking is not committed to their preparation, then why present at all?
Too many business executive believe they can wing it. When I coach executives on their speaking skills I find that most assume they are good speakers because they are knowledgeable about their subject. However, my mantra is "Just because someone is smart, or has done something cool, it does not mean they belong on the stage". There is a big difference between knowing a topic and being able to communicate your message and inspire an audience. It takes time to learn how to properly present and each speech requires hours of preparation to ensure you are delivering value to an audience.
This is not just true for giving a formal presentation at a conference, but also in any form of communication. I recently had the chance to sit in on a workshop taught by one of the countries leading communication experts, Stacey Hanke. Stacey is a friend of mine and a fellow member of the National Speakers Association. Her company, Stacey Hanke, Inc, educates professionals on how to communicate with influence. In her classes she and her team help people learn the special tools that keeps them from either memorizing a whole talk or "winging it". The clients who complete her classes are better prepared to get their points across in all areas of their lives.
Presentations Skills can be your companies SECRET WEAPON. Too few people make learning to present a priority, and thus your team could run circles around the competition every time someone is on a stage. Even some of those who speak regularly (and professionally) are not coachable, and assume the positive feedback from their audiences is proof of their abilities. The best professional speakers I know are always looking to enhance their platform skills. I regularly seek input from experienced speakers and watch videos of my presentations (Stacey Hanke and her team recommend everyone watch themselves on video, as there is no other way to know what you are really doing). Constant commitment to improvement is the only way someone can get better with their speaking skills.
Do the people in your company care about how well they reach an audience when they speak? Let me ask this another way,.... Does your team care about finding new business and growing the brand of the company?
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