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Step 5
Tell stories.


Tom Peters said, “The best leaders…almost without exception and at every level...are master users of stories and symbols.” And, of course the best leaders are the best speakers.

Tell them the story of how you got your children to turn off lights, save water, and recycle. Your stories should be personal and related to a point you're making. Have you ever gotten teary-eyed or a lump in your throat when a speaker told you how they escaped death in a car accident? Make 'em laugh; make 'em cry. They'll relate to and remember you for it. And stories just make your presentation a lot more personal and interesting.

Step 6
Control your fear of public speaking.


Notice I didn't say eliminate it, although you may reach that point with enough experience. A little nervousness is a good thing - it keeps you on your toes and gives you energy. Just don't let it show. Steve Bull advises, "Nerves and butterflies are fine - they're a physical sign that you're mentally ready and eager. You have to get the butterflies to fly in formation, that's the trick."

There are only two reasons I can think of to be nervous or fearful of giving a presentation. One, you're putting too much importance on what people think of you (ego). Think of what you can do for them instead; that's what you're there for. And know that audiences are on your side. They want you to do a good job; they're not sitting there judging you unless you're awful. Your presentation is for them - not you.

The other reason - a legitimate one - to be nervous is if you're unprepared. There's no excuse for this. People don't mind if you make mistakes or lose your place, but they do mind if you bore them or show a lack of concern for them by not being prepared.

Step 7
Get speech coaching.


Hopefully, these steps have given you some ideas on improving your presentation skills. The best way to make huge improvements is to hire a professional coach. Every experienced, dynamic speaker has had one. Your coach will support you and diplomatically point out ineffective things you're doing that you may be unaware of on your own.

Here's to your success as a personable, professional, powerful presenter!

There are three aspects of a presentation - visual, vocal, and verbal. These seven steps will help you develop more effective presentation skills, reduce your fear of public speaking, and give you podium power.
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