Got an important presentation coming up? Sweating at the thought of it?
As the founder of learning and development practice Switch Inc, personal leadership expert Phill Nosworthy coaches executives, has spoken to over 1000 audiences in more than 30 cities around the world and runs Microsoft’s finishing school for high-potential talent. In short, he knows how to get a point across – any attendees of our Kick.Start.Smart Sydney event will know this for a fact.
The thing is, as Phill points out, it’s easy to learn the skills of effective verbal communication – you just have to know what they are. Whether it be a simple team meeting or a gathering of hundreds, these are the most important things to remember for your next speaking gig, according to Phill.
“You don’t need to know everything to make a difference. If you only know one thing, but can get it to the people who need it most, then you may as well be the smartest person in the world to them. But it doesn’t matter how smart you are if you can’t get your ideas out of your head and into other people’s, it’s almost like your ideas don’t exist.
One of my favourite pieces of research is by Thomas Harrell out of Stanford. He tracked high achievers his whole career and found that verbal fluency just might be the determining factor in achieving success. It doesn’t matter who you are, an entrepreneur, a leader or a parent, learning how to communicate in a powerful way is important for getting what you want from life.”
Phill’s three best tips to presenting well:
1) KNOW YOUR STUFF
Still, try not to get in a position where you’re talking about things you don’t know. For there to be any potency in what you’re saying, you have to know it and own it. There can’t be any space between the message and the messenger. I tell people, you’ve got to live it before you can lead it.
2) THINK CLARITY OVER CHARISMA
How on earth will somebody change what they do if they can’t remember what you said? No amount of tap dancing can cover up for lack of clarity. It’s like baking a cake. You can drink a glass of milk, put some eggs in the oven, chuck flour on the table and sprinkle sugar on it all. The right ingredients yes, but it’s definitely not a cake! Amazing things happen when smart content is clear and easy to understand.
3) KNOW HOW TO GET PEOPLE TO ACT
Getting your ideas out is so much more than knowledge transfer. If it was just about the stuff you’re saying, your audience would be better served by sending them a link or a book! Today, being a great communicator means crashing through the information and getting people into application, inspiring them to act and giving them the confidence to know they are capable of doing it.
Phill Nosworthy, Switch Inc