…I loved Kristi Hedges ‘Confessions of a former public speaking trainer: don’t waste your money’ article on Forbes.com.
In it, Hedges suggests there’s not one right way to present – rather, as a speaker, your focus should be on presence, authenticity and building a connection with your audience. To do this, you need to be present and in the moment, but that’s going to be difficult if you’re worried about where you are ‘meant’ to be standing; whether you are gesticulating too much or too little; or if you’ve managed to hit the perfect pitch.
“People know how to communicate authentically, and present ideas in their own naturally effective way. You do it all the time with friends and family members. It’s when we’re under stress and in anxiety-filled situations that we forget what we already know.”
Sure, there are ways to utilise your body and your voice to maximise the impact of your carefully-chosen words, but if your attention is fixed on that, and not on being present for your audience, then there will always be a disconnect between you.
“Authenticity creates a trust bond and establishes credibility. The rest becomes superfluous.”
So instead of looking for a public speaking coach to teach you the ‘right way’ to present, seek out help understanding your own unique style and how you can use that to develop a more powerful presence and connection with your audience.