As a professional communication coach, I work with many of my clients on their public speaking skills. Often when we think of public speaking, we think of large-scale presentations or formal speeches. However, if you’re like most business professionals, you have to engage in another type of public speaking that doesn’t involve standing behind a podium or facing a packed auditorium: meetings.
Meetings are an essential part of almost any professional setting, and are one of the key ways ideas are shared among colleagues. It’s also a phenomenal opportunity to showcase your skills and ability in a way that gets you noticed and allows you to climb the corporate ladder. Here are some tips I give my clients to take their meeting presentation skills to the next level:
Keep Your Message Simple and Clear: Even if you’re presenting a fairly complex idea or project, make sure you can distill it down to its most essential points, and make sure your audience fully absorbs them. Communicate your core message to your audience multiple times, using slightly varied language each time to avoid monotony. Follow the three classic steps of a strong presentation: Tell your audience what you’re going to say, say it, then tell them what you said.
Pay Attention to Your Speaking Style: It doesn’t matter how ingenious your ideas are—if your voice and speech are unclear or unprofessional, your message will not hold weight. Enunciate each sound in each word (particularly the consonants at the ends of words!), use a relaxed rate of speaking, and use proper breath support to maintain a dynamic, engaging voice that keeps your audience’s attention.
Welcome Audience Engagement: Interactivity keeps the meeting lively, makes your audience feel connected to the topic, and ensures that everyone is on the same page. Shift your eye contact as you speak to include everyone in the room. Encourage questions and comments when appropriate. If giving examples to illustrate a point, use the name of a person in the room to ground it to the current situation (e.g., “For example, if David here were a customer, and wanted additional information…”).
Would you or a colleague benefit from communication training or accent reduction services? Give us a call and see how Corporate Speech Solutions can improve your professional life! Call us at 212-308-7725 or send us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more. I’d be more than happy to answer any questions you might have!
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