If you are interested in improving your presentation skills, one route is the workshop. You would be amazed at the transformation possible; however, it is important to understand that not all workshops are alike. In this article, I list the 5 things you should look for if you are serious about improving your skills in public speaking and having several opportunities to present your material in front of an audience.
- 1. Look for a course in which you will be video-recorded. Video-recording is one of the best tools for seeing and hearing yourself in action. Too often, how we think we look and sound and how we really look and sound are not the same thing. Video tells a lot more truth about you than any other medium. While it may seem daunting at first, you should most definitely take advantage of this tool.
- 2. Check to see that the class size is limited to 10 to 12 participants maximum. Very small groups are most important in a practical course such as this. Yes, sitting amongst an audience of 250 is fine if you are primarily listening to speakers, but in this case, size of group and recording potential really do matter. The larger group, the less individual attention. Larger groups also mean less participation by each individual.
- 3. Will the course be covering the personal introduction? As a people, our personal introduction skills often take on the quality of a Valley Girl. As simple as it may seem, the personal intro is the most overlooked of the various forms of presentation. If you can deliver a dynamic summary about you and/or your business, you will find all other aspects of public speaking that much easier.
- 4. While many courses cover the informative or persuasive presentation, check to see if the impromptu is being offered. As frightening as this may sound, the impromptu is an excellent exercise, teaching you to think on your feet: having that experience will serve you well in your future, not only when addressing an audience but when you are speaking extemporaneously to prospective clients, employers, employees, and your colleagues.
- 5. How will the course handle your nervousness? If they plan to tell you to stare at something on the wall or look above the heads of your listeners, beware! This is not the advice you should be seeking. Nor is imagining your audience sitting in their underwear a comforting thought for most people! Find out exactly how they plan to deal with your nervousness. While it may be man's greatest fear, it need not be yours if you learn the best ways of dealing with it!
In my next article, I will be discussing 5 Tips for Selecting a Voice & Presentation Skills Workshop.