Make 2018 the year you really become a better leader by improving your communication skills. Here’s our list of suggestions and exercises for getting the year started off right. We promise that if you take these steps seriously, you will see big improvements ahead.
Top Ten Tips for Improving Presentations in 2018
1. Put one EMS Fundamental or other presenting skill at the top of your daily calendar, and focus on that one skill for the entire day. For example:
- Monday: Make eye contact during every person-to-person interaction.
- Tuesday: Be aware of pausing any time you’re talking.
- Wednesday: Replace your qualifiers (if, think, hope, etc.) with stronger language to help you sound more confident.
- Thursday: Increase the amount of facial expression you use, as if you were on stage.
Friday: Be conscious of gestures. Pay attention to the ones you typically use, watch what other people do, and work on expanding your variety.
2. Watch other speakers who capture your attention, and analyze what it is they do well. Borrow tactics that you think would work for you. Watch TED talks (see blog article) if you don’t have good example speakers at work.
3. Find everyday opportunities to practice your speaking skills, such as when leaving voice mail, participating in conference calls or meetings, etc.
4. Volunteer to speak whenever you can, whether in your community, at your kids’ school, or planning a lunch-and-learn at work.
5. Engage your co-workers. Ask some of your closest colleagues for their honest feedback—what are some of your communication tendencies? Invite them to observe you during meetings and provide written or verbal comments.
6. Make a habit of “power-posing” before important phone calls, meetings, interviews or presentations to help you project more confidence. Follow this link to learn more from Amy Cuddy about this topic.
7. Watch yourself on video: have a colleague use a cellphone or tablet, or set up a camera on a tripod to film yourself, while practicing for an upcoming presentation. Review the video, making note of distracting tendencies, then film yourself again as you practice different options.
8. Add energy! Whether it’s increasing your conviction level or cranking up your enthusiasm, people will notice when you inject energy into your communications.
9. Be positive as you approach important moments. Focus on what you’re going to do to make yourself successful, rather than worrying about ways things might get screwed up.
10. Invest in yourself by working with EMS.
- Attend one of our monthly public workshops.
- Bring us in for customized training for your team.
- Engage EMS for one-on-one executive coaching.
- For graduates of EMS workshops, take an intensive one-day refresher course. (We’ll be rolling out these programs in 2018—you’ll be able to work with other second-timers to get you back up to speed or help you prepare for a big presentation.)
Get going. And if you need any help understanding what we mean when we describe these exercises, please give us a call!