May 4th is Make a Promise Day which was started by Matthew Cossolotto. Why make a promise? Because a promise is more powerful than a goal. Quick! How many New Year's Resolutions have you already broken? When you promise to be a better public speaker, there is an energy and commitment that drives you to action. My military father taught me to never break a promise. When you gave someone your word, that was sacred. You may keep your promise to others; but what about yourself? I recently made a promise to give up chocolate for one month. It was hard, but I would never have done it if I hadn't made a promise. A promise is putting a stake in the ground. It's drawing a line in the sand. You can become a better public speaker right now and the first step begins with a promise.
So, do it. Once you promise, the question becomes how to do it. Here are some ideas for becoming a better public speaker and sharpening your presentation skills.
- Read books and articles.
- Listen to podcasts.
- Attend toastmasters.
- Register for a public speaking class.
- Get a coach.
- Attend National Speakers Association. (NSA-NYC event May 21st)
- Watch top speakers and model their behaviors.
- Volunteer to speak in your community or at work.
- Prepare in advance of your presentation.
- Practice out loud and time yourself. Watch yourself on videotape.
- Simplify your notes. Use bullet points.
- Get an accountability buddy to hold you to your promise.
When you boost your presentation skills and become a better public speaker your life will change. I promise.