The benefits of being a good public speaker aren’t always obvious.
When you get an MBA, you have increased your value considerably in the work force.
But if you not only get an MBA, but then discipline yourself to become a highly effective communicator–a highly effective speaker–you’re increasing your value probably another 50%.
Why? Because it is incredibly powerful to have somebody who is both highly knowledgeable on the hard side and really effective on the soft side.
Most people would say that communication is a soft skill. Nevertheless, it’s a soft skill masquerading as a hard corporate asset.
That’s because in any business environment, if you have the ability to present well, you’re worth your weight in gold! Moreover, these good public speakers are the people who rise through the ranks to become really good leaders.
In my experience, it’s because that’s the definition of a really good leader. Someone who is smart on one side–the facts, data, and knowledge base essential for a particular business. However, he or she is also smart on the other side–communicating, managing people, and collaborating.
This combination is rare, but you can attain it if you work at it.
Here are some tips to help:
First, I think the best way to become for people to become good public speakers is to hire a coach (and I’m not just saying that because I am a coach).
Hiring a coach is the best way to have an ally who will push you through the resistance. When you are trying to get better at anything, you need to push through to get to the next level.
Second, use your own stories in your public speaking. When you use your stories, you bring the audience into you–you draw them in.
Third, I recommend that you get away from Power Point. Get away from scripts and just have notes. It’s true that you’ve got to have an organization for your talks. However, it’s more important to be present with the audience. If your eyes are down or you’re looking at Power Points, you’re not going to be present–you’re not going to connect.
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