No Pass Outs Allowed

unconsciousThe mere thought of walking to the front of the room to speak causes the blood to rush to your head. You feel like you’re in danger of passing out.

Self-doubt not only creeps in, it bursts through the door carrying a big sign that says, “LOSER!” Given this sometimes typical speaker mindset, is it really possible for the average person to get up in front of a room and deliver a presentation?

Experience tells me it is not only possible, it happens every day. Everyone delivers presentations these days. Your first attempts may not be a formal speech. Maybe you need to offer an informal assessment of your department’s performance at work. Or you are asked to deliver a few words at a friend’s going away party.

Rest assured that you have the ability to get better. Presenting is a learned skill, just like riding a bike or learning a trade. Don’t let anyone tell you great speakers are born with the gift of gab. Yes, some of us have a more natural proclivity as speakers—perhaps we were born with a melodious voice, for instance.

Just as we learn any skill—from driving to typing to gardening—we can also learn to speak in public more effectively. Do I have a magic wand that transforms mediocre speakers into polished pros? Unfortunately, no. It takes a strong commitment to lifelong learning. But speakers can go from below par to reliable, or from decent to accomplished.

Where are you along that timeline? How do you plan to sharpen your communications edge? Stay tuned to The Media Training Blog for answers.

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