I recently attended a course on presentation skills and really enjoyed the workshop! We had vocal and breathing exercises like you would when training to sing.
Here is the story: Three days before the workshop I got an email stating that the workshop session would involve each participant making a short presentation. I was tempted to reply the email and say I wouldn’t be able to attend. I could cancel my slot at least 24 hours in advance of the workshop.
Now you might be wondering why I was tempted to do so. The reason is that I normally do not like addressing people, not because I am nervous or afraid. I am naturally introverted and I love my “space”. I like keeping to myself and recall I wouldn’t speak in class except when the teacher insists everyone must speak.
So I began typing the email to cancel my slot. Midway I stopped and read the mail again. I asked myself the reason I registered for the course in the first place- I wanted to improve my presentation skills and make sure I am well prepared for my presentations.
The brief stated that the presentation should be between 5-7 minutes and the topic could be about anything but not your thesis. Going through the 10 suggested ideas I felt the number 9 was good, so I decided not to send the email. Number 9 says you can tell a personal story so I decided to tell the story of what motivates me.
I told my story, and used three metaphors to describe the “three things” that motivate me: “The old soul”, “The weird one” and “The wild one” (my children). It was a VERY emotional presentation with some teary eyes in the room including mine. I got good feedback from the other 7 participants; each participant’s presentation was also recorded. Watching myself has helped me identify areas I need to improve upon.
I learnt that I can access the second circle to achieve a great presentation by working on my breath, posture, focus and language (Watch The 2nd circle here).