How to Bring Out Your Hidden Presentation Skills
Most of us have the presentation skills that we need to present effectively. Unfortunately, they are hidden and lie dormant in our subconscious. The important task, then, is to bring them into our conscious awareness and use them.
Most people do not know how to do this. Instead, they reinforce the inaccurate belief that they cannot be animated, gesture effectively, vocalize with variety, be funny, move purposefully and vary their facial expressions.
Fake It ‘Till You Make It and Reveal Your Hidden Presentation Skills
A powerful strategy that reveals your hidden presentation skills is “Fake It ‘Till You Make It.” Here’s how Allan Kaufman recently demonstrated this technique.
He called up several people from the audience, one at a time, to speak impromptu for 1 to 2-1/2 minutes. He gave each a topic that was not difficult to talk about.
Learning how to give impromptu presentations effectively is one of the important presentation skills to master. It is very useful if you are being interviewed for a job or your boss suddenly asks you to speak at a meeting.
Allan first asked each speaker to identify two of his or her weakest presentation skills such as vocal variety, eye contact, use of gestures, being enthusiastic, giving an organized presentation, getting the audience involved, etc.
Then he asked each to identify two presenters who s/he believed were strong in the areas in which s/he was weak. The two presenters could be part of a group known to the audience or public personalities.
He had each concentrate on his and her weak public speaking skill areas and emulate one of the two strong speakers each had listed. He said to each participant, “Address the topic as if you are the speaker you named answering it.”
The first impromptu speaker said that she was weak in the use of vocal variety and demonstrating enthusiasm. The person who she thought was strong in those areas was Bob Harris, a member of the audience. So Allan said, “Bob is strong in vocal variety and enthusiasm. So for the next two minutes, pretend you are Bob doing this impromptu topic.”
After each participant spoke, Allan asked for feedback from the audience on how well that speaker did. Did s/he demonstrate effective use of the public speaking skill s/he was weak in? How so? What could s/he have done better? Everyone got involved and it was an eye-opening learning session.
The Amazing Hidden Presentation Skills Discovery
The results were astounding. Participants who usually spoke quietly and with very little enthusiasm spoke up and were excited. They could do this because they presented as if they were someone else. Each participant’s weak areas improved.
The exercise demonstrated that the speakers really had the presentation skills within them. They just were not aware they had them. During the impromptu talks, the participants discovered the presentation skills that they had hidden.
Allan said to the audience, “Now you know you can speak with enthusiasm, with vocal variety, with gestures. You just demonstrated it. Now do it as you. Fake it until it becomes the natural thing for you to do. If you must, pretend you are someone else when you are speaking. Model his or her behavior until it becomes yours.”
So if you want to discover the hidden qualities that outstanding presenters have, identify your weak areas and model someone who is strong in those areas. Soon, you will exhibit the modeled speaking behavior, the public speaking skill, in your own style. In other words…
Fake it ’til you make it!
If you have discovered other ways to unleash your hidden presentation skills, please share them in the comments.
Authors: Allan Kaufman and Allan Misch
©Allan Kaufman and Allan Misch, 2013. All rights reserved.
To celebrate the redesign of our website, we are offering a 30% savings on both the downloadable and hard copies of our book and audio sets of Presentation Truths Revealed—101 Universal Principles to Propel Your Speaking Success. With the downloadable version, you get the eBook and MP4 audio tracks. You can select the book and 2-CD set, which we will mail to you. To get your savings, enter the coupon code MayPTR30 in the shopping cart. Click here for more information and to order.
Also, make sure you download our 4 complimentary videos, “10 Critical Strategies to Make Your Presentation Slides More Memorable.”