I think everyone who follows this blog has the idea that I feel public speaking is a very important skill to have for career success. Imagine how much my former students have learned this lesson from me?
One of the best classes I ever taught (imho) was an advertising class that I set up as a mini-advertising agency with student groups as mini-project teams. I was able to get real local business owners to come in as "clients". Before the client presentations (which we treated as real professional presentations with business attire and PowerPoint handouts, etc), we practiced and drilled the presentations over and over. Each student were amazing advertising professional by the time we met with the "clients". It was a grea,t successful project that led to real-world experience and some clients implemented a lot of my students' ideas.
That being said, public speaking is a challenge and this article gives some tips for speaking with eloquence. The first one is to know the power of silence - interesting first tip but I get it - you do not want to speak just to hear yourself. You want to have something to say that is meaningful. Most people as speakers have issues with the word "uhmmmm" or other pause fillers like "like" - the only way to avoid this is to practice, practice and prepare. It is ok to just pause but you have to be practiced to not automatically fill that pause with a sound like "uhmm". Have the ideas of what you want to say and I like his advice of a substitute phrase. He recommends using, " Well, you see now..." but you can have different phrases to use, too.
I agree with the no jargons and no curses. Being descriptive is great, too - but not too descriptive. You do not want to take 100 words to say what 20 or 50 would accomplish.
Anytime a student gets up to talk and the time requirement for a presentation or a client pitch was 5 minute or even 10 minutes, they would say, "Oh my goodness, I cannot be up there for that long... I cannot talk for that long" - but in reality, they would often-times go OVER the allotted time. This is important to realize when asked to give a presentation at work (which, yes, chances are you will be asked to give a presentation - I sat in on a nursing school class at a local college recently full of professional nurses and each of them said they were required to give presentations at least once a quarter at their jobs on specific topics - if a nurse has to give a presentation, imagine you will, too).
In closing, always practice and remember, no one can tell how nervous you are - it is not obvious to those of us in the audience listening to you. Get out there and give a presentation or speech soon.
What do you think about the tips for speaking? Has the ability to speak well helped your career? Happy hunting.
Fortune What Are the Best Tips and Hacks for Speaking with Eloquence and Sophistication
Lisa Vento Nielsen