Public Speaking is a Skill Everyone Can Learn

Posted by: on Sep 10, 2012 | No Comments

One of the most common fears is that of public speaking. Unfortunately, in business, it’s rarely something that can be avoided!

Grappling with this fear is something that Helga has helped many a client with, and last year she decided to deliver a Pecha Kucha talk on this very issue.

Peccha Kucha is a Japanese presentation format where the presenter speaks to 20 slides that are pre-timed to move on after 20 seconds. To add the the challenge and to create a very real ‘fear factor’, Helga didn’t plan what she was going to say, just prepared the 20 slides.

Watch the video of the talk (around 7 minutes) to see how Helga addresses some top tips for mastering public speaking – including a good opening and closing, learning how to use your voice and the technology, and thinking about the format and context.

Helga says, “I really meant it when I said that anyone, regardless of temperament or inclination, can learn how to speak in public more effectively. That’s why presentations skills training is an important part of our year round offer, a great next step for people who would like to learn the vocal and other techniques that will give them the confidence and ability to speak in public.

When I was in New York I was lucky enough to spend some time with the amazing Young At Heat choir – a choir of elders aged 73 to 89 from Northampton Massachusetts.  The amazing Jeanne Hatch (born 1926) was a speech teacher and she said to me that speaking confidently was a life skill that prepared you for the “crunch moments” in life.  Whether you have to make some sort of presentation to get a new job, ask someone to marry you or to speak at major family occasions like weddings, birthdays or funerals –  your ability to speak in public has a big effect on your life.  So it is just as well that, with a little preparation and skill building, we can all let our individuality shine through.”

Fancy giving it a go yourself? You can find out about Birmingham’s regular Pecha Kucha nights here, or if you have been further inspired then why not book on to our half day How to Give Great Presentations course, details here.

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