Hands up if you’ve ever suffered from imposter syndrome! It afflicts even the most capable of professionals. But wouldn’t it be nice to walk into your next presentation filled to the brim with confidence and not at all frazzled by your never-ending to-do list, the kids’ school report and the feeling that you’re not quite as prepared for this as you’d like to be?
Presentations and pitches might not be everybody’s favourite thing to do, but they are necessary. Would you believe me if I said they can actually be exciting, memorable – even enjoyable! But as with most things, they take practice and training. Thankfully, there is a wealth of new technology and revolutionary training methods available to help you develop your presentation techniques and speak with confidence.
Why is speaking with confidence important?
Confidence engenders trust, which is an essential component of persuasion. If you’re going to inspire somebody to take action, whether it be persuading the board to increase budgets, or your colleagues to back your initiative, you must win their trust.
So how do we learn how to speak confidently and win trust—especially now we’re spending more time behind a screen at home rather than in the traditional office?
Learning from home has changed
No great orator becomes as confident as they appear to be without practice. But how can you get the practice you need to build that confidence without a live environment to do it in? After all, practising your presentation techniques in your empty home office just isn’t the same as the real thing.
Now, if you’re visualising drearily sitting in front of a computer screen trying to pay attention to a long pre-recorded video about presentation skills, I’ll forgive you. Because where the online training format excels is in convenience; engagement can sometimes be lacking.
The pandemic prompted an explosion in new online training techniques, which acknowledge and tackle head-on the challenges associated with remote learning and presenting.
Virtual Reality (VR), for example, is revolutionising training. Practising presentations, public speaking and other scenarios within a virtual simulation allows us to make mistakes, learn and grow in a safe space—and wave goodbye to any lingering imposter syndrome once and for all.
And now you can do it without the bulky goggles and enormous technology price tag. Online virtual scenarios are a new easy to access alternative to traditional VR —offering 75% of the immersive feel of a traditional VR experience.
So if you don’t have the time or inclination to rehearse in front of a friend or colleague, online virtual scenarios are a convenient alternative, providing supportive feedback in a flexible online environment that recreates the feel of live delivery. You can practise real-life business scenarios such as a small meeting, 1:1 conversation, large scale conference, or online pitch.
Not only that, you can receive instant feedback on your performance – on things like pace, filler words, listenability and more – so you can easily identify bad habits and areas to improve.
Unlike traditional VR training, which requires a headset, online virtual scenarios are completed in your browser, with no download or installation required, making them the much more accessible option.
So if you’re not already leveraging VR to enhance your professional skills and career development, perhaps it’s time to do so. After all, what better way is there to practise and build confidence when speaking?
How to improve confidence when speaking: 3 step methodology
By introducing these steps into your practice schedule, you’re introducing a structure that will allow you to progress bit by bit.
1. Talk Through
Those that have any knowledge of acting might understand this as the “table read”. This is an opportunity for you to read through your presentation aloud and consider, in particular, the design, content and approach.
2. Walk Through
Once the design has been developed, the walk through allows you to go through, step-by-step, each part of the presentation. In particular, check for flow and relevance.
3. Run Through
Finally, the run through is like a theatre dress rehearsal. This is when you get to practise and finesse your presentation in as close to the real live environment as you can get.
To learn more tips like these: read our blog on Advanced Presentations Skills.
Bottom line: how can you improve your presentation skills from anywhere?
If you want to learn to speak with confidence, here’s my advice:
Follow the talk through-walk through-run through 3-step methodology for rehearsals, and practice in an immersive experience, like an online virtual scenario, so that you’re able to apply the practical presentation skills you learn.
Upskill yourself and gain that competitive advantage at work today. Start your journey towards speaking with confidence and eliminating imposter syndrome by checking out our new and improved Mastering Communication Program Online course – which now also includes virtual scenarios!
Throughout the course you build your own presentation and now you can try out your newfound skills in a variety of life-like scenario, right from your desktop.