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Phi Team





Training and Development: Presentation Skills and Public Speaking

July - August 2007 . Mrs. Micheline El Housseini Timbrell


Prepare your structure

It is essential to prepare your speech or your presentation even if you are only planning to talk for 5 minutes. An introduction, a main body and a conclusion is always a classical and safe structure especially when you are not very exposed to the world of public speaking. Having a solid, well prepared structure is a must and the first step to gain self-confidence.

Work on your style and body language

Unfortunately, we human beings are more influenced and attracted to the style of the presenter more than the content and words. Your voice (the pitch, the volume, the variety, the pace) is crucial. You don’t have to shout in a room or to over articulate to get attention, but when you speak you need to have power in your voice that makes your audience want to listen to your words. Your gestures need to be natural and simple, not robotic and distracting. Control your facial expressions and your posture and try remain natural.

Your corporate image

It is unacceptable to stand and present a brand, a product, a company or a project and not give any attention to the way you dress. Always, look to the mirror and ask yourself: what image am I reflecting? You need to have the image to suit the message you are trying to convey. Ladies should avoid excessive make up and jewellery. Try to look smart with a touch of charisma, efficiency and elegance.

Get feedback

Public speaking is an art that can be learnt and significantly developed with the right training (you only need to look back at the early performances of many international politicians to see what I mean!). Don’t be satisfied with where you are now. Instead work on yourself, ask for help, professional assessment and honest direct feedback from experts or alternatively, ask your colleagues or friends to give you their impressions.

Videotape your presentations and have the courage to review them and to understand what the impact of each movement and delivery of key issues within the speech was. This will really help you to gain self-awareness and confidence. It must be said that presenting and speaking in public remains the highest fear among executives. I totally agree with people who admit that it is a skill that needs time and practice, so whenever you have the opportunity to do so, go ahead. Jump into the water and with time you will become the sovereign of the boardroom just by following these simple tips. And remember to practice, practice, and practice!