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Month: February 2020

What is Public Speaking Confidence?

woman pointing a finger while smiling

Confidence is a vague concept, isn’t it? 

I was asked recently to deliver a workshop on “Communicating with Confidence”. But what does that mean? 

To one person, it could be delivering a keynote in front of a large audience. 
To someone else, it could be asking a question at an internal meeting. 

For this particular workshop, it was the latter. One participant was so anxious about speaking up at the meeting, she wrote her point on a piece of paper and handed it to a colleague to say instead. 

I was listening back to a segment of Ciara Kelly’s Lunchtime Live recently, where the topic of conversation was public speaking anxiety. There was a lot of listener engagement with the topic, with people telling how this lack of confidence was holding them back from contributing at meetings; from delivering presentations and from progressing in their career. 
Lack of confidence was holding them back from contributing at meetings; from delivering presentations and from progressing in their career. Click To Tweet
There is lots of advice for public speaking and presentation skills confidence. I share lots of articles on my social media platforms. Of course, someone can also attend a workshop run by me or by someone else. They can learn the skills and techniques to craft and deliver speeches and presentations.

But that, by itself, isn’t enough. You can’t learn confidence at a workshop. You gain confidence, by doing
You can't learn confidence at a workshop. You gain confidence, by doing. Click To Tweet
A workshop can set you on the right track, but you need to work on it, to practice and to develop the skills. 
 Speak up at the meeting.
Ask a question.
Offer to deliver a presentation.

Start small.
Build on it.
Repeat.

Congratulate yourself for what you do, rather than beating yourself up for what you didn’t do.

 

Define what public speaking confidence is for you. Aim towards that!

 

Is Training the Right Answer?

When an organisation identifies a challenge, very often training is proposed as a solution.

Sometimes it is the right solution, but not always.

Training for the sake of training is a waste of time, effort and money. For training to be effective, it needs to address an identified gap in knowledge, skills or attitude.

Training for the sake of training is a waste of time, effort and money Click To Tweet

 

Training Needs Analysis

The gap – and the correct solution to address it- is identified by performing a Training Needs Analysis (TNA). This not only identifies the gap, it also provides the foundation of a training plan, ensuring an improved Return on Investment.

The Four Step Model (Garavan et al, 2003), is best suited to prioritising interventions focussed on improving performance at an individual level. The steps involved are:

  1. Preparation of the Review
  2. Collection and Initial Interpretation of the data
  3. Analysis of data
  4. Identification of Training & Development priorities
When clients approach me about delivering in-house training, I listen carefully. Click To Tweet

When clients approach me about delivering in-house training, I listen carefully. I listen to what the issues are with regard to staff communication and presentation skills. For some, it is developing skills to participate confidently at internal meetings. For others, it is developing skills to deliver client presentations, or to share their expertise at a conference.

All of the above require good presentation skills, but the training involved is different in each scenario. Taking time to ask the right questions at this stage ensures effective training will be designed, developed and delivered.

My next step is to conduct a survey. By conducting a survey in advance with participants, I can identify what the core issues are, and address those in the training session.

After analysing the data, I work closely with the L&D function to prioritise the issues raised and create the learning objectives. This will ensure that training is relevant and meets the needs of the individual and the organisation. We work together to establish what the trainees will do differently as a result of the training.

No two training sessions are the same. Each client has a training session designed to their needs as identified by the participants in advance. That is what makes my training effective.

Contact me to see if training is the right solution for your company’s needs.