1. Speak up. Ideas presented with energy and a dynamic voice will reach listeners not only at the level of understanding, but at an emotional level as well. Dynamic means loud-soft, fast-slow, and high-low. Practice is the key. As you practice, you will gradually develop an ear for monitoring your own voice so that you can murder unwanted monotone.
2. Dress up. Ideas are received more readily when a speaker meets and exceeds the dress standards of the listeners. When you look good, you automatically sound better to your listeners.
3. Move up. Practice posture and movement that conveys confidence in your ideas. Stand firmly on both feet. If you have nothing for your hands to do, let them hang comfortably at your sides. Don't feel confident? Practice is the solution.
Practice, practice, practice! How many times should you practice your presentation aloud before giving it? You can not practice too often or too much. If you really want to improve, practice on at least three consecutive days. Emerson said, "Those things that we persist in doing become easier, not that the nature of the thing has changed, but that our ability to do it has increased."
Watch this video clip borrowed from Dancing With The Stars (results show, October 27). DWTS interviewed Nadia Comaneci (Olympic Gymnastics Gold), Gregg Louganis (Olympic Diving Gold), and Bill Walton (former UCLA and NBA star). Hear what these champions have to say about the importance of practice in preparing the mind and body for performance.
© Frank Richardson, 2009.