The best and most influential form of communication is face to face, one on one interactions. This has been backed by neuroscience but is also an obvious conclusion considering that for many thousands of years’ history, knowledge and stories were passed down from generation to generation by the spoken word. Oral story telling is at the cultural core of our first nations people here in Australia. It’s through face to face communication that true connection is made, learning and messaging is embedded and the seeds of change can be sowed.
Despite the shifts in civilisation, and in light of the rise of technology, such as artificial intelligence, this form of communication is more relevant and important than ever. In the workforce, whether you are an employee, volunteer, people leader, from graduate to C suite, you are expected at some point to present. And if not present then definitely communicate with impact- succinctly and effectively. Learning how to communicate successfully in high stakes scenarios such as large presentations, conferences, reporting to board members, delivering results to clients, speaking up at a meeting, launching a product or service. There are so many scenarios that require presenting skills and all are vital. As Nathan Furr, a world expert on strategic narrative and author of “Leading Transformation” states, no one sits on the couch to read your strategy report. ‘Presenting with Impact and Authenticity’ is one of Symes Group’s flagship programs. It combines the principles of storytelling and performance with the science of personality as well as coaching psychology. Symes Group shares their 10 top presenting tips.
1. Start with the WHY: Start with why you are communicating, and use this to guide the content.
2. It’s not about you: Don’t think about yourself. Focus on your audience and what they need from you.
3. Show, Don’t Tell: Use stories, case studies and examples to make your point.
4. Learn the thoughts not the words: Don’t learn a script. Instead, learn the sequence of thoughts and your delivery will be more natural.
5. Develop a warm-up ritual: Find a moment in the bathroom to practice your warm-up ritual, it might include deep breathing, self-talk or voice warm-ups.
6. Nerves are good: Remember nerves are your friend and help you to perform better.
7. Fear and excitement evoke the same physiological response: Sweaty palms? Racing heart? The symptoms for fear and excitement are often the same. So change fear to excitement in your mind.
8. Stay grounded: Before you start, stand with your feet apart and firmly on the ground. Hold your shoulders back and then find a relaxed pose.
9. Find the friendly faces: Make a note of your audience and look for the friendly smiling faces. Return to those faces throughout your talk for encouragement.
10. Fake it until you make it: Tell yourself you are confident and you will find yourself becoming confident as a result.