4 years ago, I began speaking weekly to audiences of all size and ages. I was writing and delivering presentation after presentation and enjoying every second of it. About a year into this I decided it was time to step up my game a bit and put in some work to improve my skills, so I decided to record one of my presentations so that I could watch it later. As I sat down to replay the footage of my latest presentation I was not prepared for what I was about to experience. The video began to play, and I started to ask myself “who is that on the screen?” Sure, it was physically me but the persona that was being displayed was hardly recognizable.
What I realized that day was that I had created a persona that came out while on stage that did not match who I was everywhere else. This idea sparked a journey for me to “Find my Voice.” To figure out who I was as a presenter and to become an authentic communicator rather than a parrot pretending to be someone else.
Throughout this journey I discovered a few key ways to help discover your voice and improve your presentation skills. I promise if you take the time to use these quick tools you to will have everything you need to “Find Your Voice” in an authentic and real way.
Get to know yourself.
I have become a bit of a personality test geek in the past year. I love all the different assessment tools that exist to help us understand who we are as people and how our brains are wired. As an ENTJ with Self Assurance as my top strength I am a passionate and driven communicator as well as human being. But for some reason every time I stepped on stage I tried to become a soft spoken motherly figure, can you say identity crisis. I had to realize that the passionate and driven version of myself off stage had to bleed into every presentation I gave.
The same is true for you. Who are you when you are most comfortable? How do you behave around your closest friends? That same person should show up when you stand in front of any audience. But in order for that to happen you have to know who you are. Take some time and engage in some personality testing, whether it be the Meyers Briggs test, Strengths Finders, Predictive Index, or any other great test available use these as a tool to understand who you are on a human level first.
Understand your voice.
Once you have taken time to understand who you are as a human being it is time to press into what your voice is, or another way of saying this is who you are as a presenter. The team at Ethos3 has put together a great tool to help you understand who you are as a presenter. Think of it like the Meyers Briggs but designed specifically for your presentation skills.
If you want to understand what your voice is head over to Ethos3.com and take the badge assessment, then pick up a copy of “What’s your Presentation Persona?” and start studying. These two simple tools unlocked information and insight into why some audiences are harder for me than others, and how to leverage the strengths I have to deliver the best presentation possible.
Embrace who you are.
One of the hardest things to do when it comes to finding your voice is embracing what you find. As presenters we all have role models in our lives that we look up to. Maybe they are other presenters that we think are really great at what they do, or they are leaders that seem to command the room as soon as they walk in the door. If we are not careful what we can end up doing is imitating these people. We think that if we can just act enough like them we will get the same results. The reality is that could not be farther from the truth.
If you want to be a great presenter, you have to embrace who you are. Embrace all the strengths and weaknesses that you possess and harness them to deliver a powerful presentation. A great way to ensure that you don’t fall into this trap is to make sure you diversify who you are listening to. I try to listen to 3 different podcasts each week from 3 different presenters who all have a different voice. By doing this I know that I am developing well rounded mentors and people I look up to.
Authenticity always leads to engagement, but in order to be authentic you have to understand and embrace who you are and the voice you have been given.
Looking to hone your skill as a presenter check out our latest presentation mentor online course today at Presentationmentor.com.