If public speaking were easy, everyone would be great at it. True, it does take effort and commitment to craft memorable speeches and develop polished presentation skills, but you can make the process easier and speed up your learning curve. How? Hire a consultant. Here are four ways that a knowledgeable consultant can help.
- Make it manageable
A good consultant will help you develop a realistic timeline for crafting and rehearsing your upcoming presentation(s). This timeline should break tasks into clear and manageable parts, making the project less daunting. It will also prevent procrastination – a key reason why so many speeches are lackluster and so many speakers are anxious.
Many consultants have useful tools and techniques that provide a useful framework for preparing a presentation. For example, my Sandwich Structure streamlines the process of organizing ideas into a clearly structured speech. Learning such methods from a consultant not only will make your current presentation easier to prepare, but future ones as well.
- Spark creativity
Bringing in an outside perspective should offer creative insights into the content and delivery of your presentation. Among other things, effective consultants can help you define your topic in a way that will resonate with listeners, liven up your introduction, integrate interesting stories into your material, clarify the structure of your main points, supplement your speech with compelling visual aids, make your delivery more dynamic, and conclude your presentation in a memorable way. Not only should a consultant bring creative energy to the speechmaking process, he or she should spark creativity in the speaker and serve as a sounding board for his or her innovative ideas.
- Provide encouragement and motivation
Have you ever worked with a personal trainer or taken group fitness classes from a real pro? If so, you probably pushed yourself harder, had more fun, and achieved better results than if you toiled alone. Similarly, an effective presentation consultant should encourage you to push yourself past your perceived speaking limits and motivate you to keep on schedule so you can reach or even exceed your goals. He or she should hold you accountable for putting in the hard work necessary to become a stand-out speaker in a caring but firm way.
- Promote reflection
When we work alone, we often forget to look at the big picture. A presentation consultant can help you honestly assess your speaking strengths and weaknesses, identify successes and missteps at the lectern, as well as measure long-term improvement in your speaking skills. He or she should prompt you to think about ways to build on successes and avoid missteps in future presentations.
We all know public speaking isn’t easy. The terrible presentations we all are subjected to are proof. But you can make the process easier and speed up your learning curve by working with a knowledgeable presentation skills consultant.