If you have been reading my posts, you would know that my number 1 goal for 2020 is to become an exceptional presenter. It is no easy feat, but it takes a lot of extra hours of effort in order to get there. Sacrifices in time have to get made, but the most important thing to do is to consistently remind myself what the end goal is. In order for us to truly succeed, we must remind ourselves what the end-goal is and why do we want it. Why do I want to be an exceptional presenter? I love having the opportunity to be able to teach someone something new. I don’t do it to show everyone that I know something, but rather I want them to be better than me. When I teach something, it helps me retain that information better and I see how other people interpret that information. I can adapt how I teach it and teach it even better later. So, what have I been doing to improve my presentation/teaching skills? Here’s what I’ve done:
- Teach: This one seems obvious, but still needs to be said. The best way to improve is by starting. You must be comfortable being uncomfortable. Public speaking is one of the top fears and the best way to get over that fear is by action. I have been giving classes regularly at work to help improve my presentation skills.
- Make the classes your own: I don’t know why it took me a few classes to realize this, but I was teaching the material without making it the way I wanted to. It hindered my ability to pass along the necessary information. You have to find a way to make your presentations your own, whether that’s a story, pictures or with your presentation skills.
- Focus on one skill per week: It can be very difficult to focus on everything that needs improvement during each class. So, each week I focus on one principle per week in order to make the skill a strength.
- Give the class in front of peers: Prior to giving the class or presentation, it’s a good idea to have peers give constructive criticism. They can provide feedback for the things you haven’t or are not seeing yourself. If peers aren’t present, the book The Exceptional Presenter, recommends recording your class so you can make your own adjustments.
- Reflect: After the class is over, I take notes to see what I need to change in both the physical presentation and things I can improve on while giving the presentation. After this step, I begin a new class the next day.
One of the most important things that I have learned about all of this is preparation. You must review your presentation prior to presenting while making adjustments. It’s also important to conduct additional research to answer any questions that may arise. Bottom line: what do you want people to learn from the presentation?
I am focusing on my number one goal this year and progress is slowly happening. How are you doing on your goals this year? What progress are you seeing? Comment below!