Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Public Speaking - Get Coaching

When you really get serious about improving your presentation skills, you will probably want to get some professional coaching. A good speaking coach will be able to objectively evaluate where you are now and help you formulate a plan to get where you want to be. There are no quick fixes, but you can make significant improvement quickly if you work at it and have the proper direction. The old joke is that the only way you can get fixed in one session is if you're a dog.

A speaker coach will evaluate you either in person or with the help of video and audio tapes. He or she will need to interview you to see what you think your strong and weak points are and to see exactly what you want to accomplish. The coaching necessary to prepare for a one-shot presentation on television would be completely different from the coaching you would get to be a better trainer.

I like to use video when I train speakers although it is not absolutely necessary for improvement. A speaker coach may use any number of different techniques to try to help you toward your goals. You might be asked to stretch, or do deep breathing exercises. You might even be asked to read from a child's book. Your coach will do whatever he or she can to help you improve.

Your investment for private coaching can run from $20.00 per hour to several thousand dollars per day. If you are a beginner, you probably don't need the high priced Madison Avenue intensive training program. However, if you are a CEO with a major keynote presentation coming up that could help secure millions of dollars worth of business, then an intensive program might be right for you.

Another good way to get practice is to join or start a Toastmasters club. They are excellent training forums for basic speaking skills. You can also get great practice by volunteering to do free talks for civic groups like Rotary and Kiwanis.

If you are serious about making a career of speaking, join the National Speakers

Do everyone a favor before you stand up in front of any audience: