Some presentation skills training you can do right now, from your desk!
Quick! Look around you- did you know you can use some of your normal, every day desk items to bring yourself closer to your goal of being a presentation rockstar? Well, you can! Mad skills don't develop overnight, so it's important to keep up that constant, steady work. So, what can you do right NOW to improve? Rockstars, pick up:
1) Your Pencil: Your pencil can help you perfect a nice, solid neutral position. Stand up and place it on the floor, under the ball of your foot. That tiny reminder will help keep your hips square and balanced and prevent you from leaning to one slide or the other. Great for building your NP muscle memory.
2) A rubber band: Our hands carry a lot of tension that we don't often think about, and we need those babies for strong gestures! Place a rubber band loosely around your fingers. (Seriously, no need to compromise your circulation...) Now, repeatedly open and close your hands against the resistance of the band. Better gestures and a hand massage to boot!
3) Your phone recorder app: Most smartphones have a simple (often free!) recorder app you can download. (Here's one for your iPhone or your Windows phone.) Record yourself for a bit- randomly chat into it, or set it up on your desk while you're on a call on another device or landline (you'll only be recording YOU) and you can get a great assessment of how your voice sounds on a daily basis. Repeat often, focusing on things like pitch, volume, articulation, verbal viruses and vocal fry!
4) Your chair: Just like your rubber band stretches, your chair is a great assistant for stretching as well as developing core breathing techniques. Sit in your chair with both feet flat on the floor. Fold over from your hips, and bring your chest as close to your legs as possible. Hold for as long as is comfortable, taking deep, core breaths to your stomach- you'll be able to feel them more fully since you're folded in half.
5) Your pushpins: A few brightly colored pins, stuck in a cubicle or office wall, can help you keep focused and centered on phone conferences, during presentation rehearsals, or even to give your retinas a rest from your screen. Pop 'em up for an instant "eye grabber"!