You never know when Presentation Skills or Public Speaking Courses will come up.
On a recent cross-country flight I sat next to a young woman finishing up her junior year at MIT – Massachusetts Institute of Technology. We discussed a story I had seen on CBS Sunday Morning about MIT’s Charm School. I told her I was a huge fan of etiquette training and that it is just one of the offerings we have at Ovation.
I was just about to tell her a little more about what we do when she interrupted me and asked, “wait, do you teach Presentation Skills?” to which I, of course, answered, “yes”.
Delighted she said, “My friends and I were just discussing this last night. We didn’t know whether Presentation Skills were something we could learn or not. We thought maybe it was something you just had or you didn’t.” I assured my new friend Presentation Skills are learnable and here’s how you learn it:
1) TAKE A CLASS – I happen to know of a company where you can find a great Presentation Skills class! (There are hundreds of reputable companies and individual coaches.) Ask your friends and colleagues for their personal recommendations!
2) PRACTICE – Presentation Skills are just like exercise. If you do not continue to practice your skills they will not stay in top form. Much like muscle mass, if you stop exercising, after a while you will loose it.
3) KEEP PRACTICING – ToastMasters, Business Networking, an Alumni Association are all fantastic opportunities to practice your newly learned skills.
4) REFRESH YOUR SKILLS - Can you commit to adding to your skill set every quarter or at least every six months? Isn’t this investment of your time worth it to develop the #1 skill desired by employers?
5) PRACTICE SOME MORE – Almost anywhere, anytime is opportunity to practice presentations skills. It does not have to be a formal rehearsal. You can begin by telling a story to your family or engaging a stranger in a conversation on a cross-country flight.