What do you think of when you think of a presenter? What images do you come across when you search for ‘presenter?
Nine times out of ten, we think of booted and suited, behind a lectern, against a background of slides and of course smooth, suave and confident!
Sometimes, that is what presenting is but it is not surprising that that image puts people off speaking. Many of my clients, especially those who work in organisations, feel totally out of their comfort zone when speaking because this uber-professional, stilted and unrealistically smooth speaker is just not them!
People are so wonderfully diverse and it is one of my great pleasure in the job that I do to meet people who speak differently, who see things differently, whose voices vary, whose language differs and who all have different stories to tell. Enabling people to be confident in their uniqueness and to use this strength to help them articulate their message and influence their listeners is a great joy and privilege.
It’s important to remember that it is your uniqueness that will connect with the audience. It is your perspective that will help them see things differently or more clearly. It’s your stories and language and expression that will make an impact on people and resonate with them.
So yes, it is critical, that standing up and speaking out incorporates your personality, not squishes it out of existence.
Without a doubt, you need to be prepared, be clear as to your message, have practised your delivery and done all of this with your audience in mind. And of course, investing in your speaking skills means that you can deliver with influence and impact.
But be yourself! Everyone else is taken.