Sunday, March 08, 2009

Presentation / Meeting tips ...

Kevin Wortman, winner of the District 53 Evaluation Contest last Fall, sends us some ideas about presentation / meeting skills that he picked up at the blog, SixMinutes.

Tips for increasing your "speak-up" rate

1. Let go of perfection
...A perfect thought that never gets expressed is useless.

2. Have a goal for the number of times you speak up at a meeting
...If you currently don't speak up often, commit to speaking up at least once at every meeting you attend.

3. Experiment with speaking first
Once you've mastered speaking at least once at every meeting, make it a point to speak first or as early as possible in the discussion.

4. Voice your support for what other people say
The research shows this is useful and it's a relatively easy and low-risk way to express yourself.

5. Get used to interrupting people if you have to
In some aggressive corporate cultures this is the only way to get heard. ...Here's how I do it. I say "Can I just interrupt you there?" Then as soon as they've stopped speaking, I make my point.

6. Use a formula to help you structure your thoughts
A formula will help you think on your feet and you'll come across as credible, organized and persuasive. An easy formula to use is PREP. PREP stands for Point, Reason, Example, Point. Here's an example of how to use it:
  • Point - Speaking up can enhance your career
  • Reason - People who speak up are perceived as being competent and intelligent leaders
  • Example - Richard Backstrap has just been promoted for the second time this year. He speaks up a lot - but he's no more competent than the rest of us (note: fictional example)
  • Point - Speaking up can enhance your career.
As our district governor, Karin von Kaenel, often points out, "Toastmasters is about going from not having a voice to having a voice" and speaking up for yourself is obviously part of that process !

Thanks Kevin for bringing this to our attention !

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