Want to Be a Better Presenter? Turn to These 5 Learning Resources
June 2, 2015
I don’t know about you, but I love taking advantage of the slowness at work during the summer months to learn new skill sets or polish up on existing talents. It’s a great time to experiment, catch-up on existing trends, and deep-dive into items I had been meaning to touch for several weeks.
Long story short, I love the summer because it allows me grow. As a presenter, growth is essential. Your audience relies on you to teach them something new, which means you always need to be one step ahead. Ben Franklin sums it up best here:
“Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.”
We must constantly push ourselves to become better, to get outside our comfort zones, and to acquire new knowledge and skill sets. The art of presenting is a complex task that requires constant refinement. You either grow or get trumped by the competition. If you are looking at revamping your presentation skills this summer, here are few resources worth checking out:
Skillshare is a community built by creatives for creatives, and what I love about it most is that you get to learn by doing. It’s how they structure and format the classes - lots of practical application. Want to learn typography? Skillshare offers a class. Want to learn about photography? Skillshare offers a class. Want to learn about illustrating? Skillshare offers a class. And on that note, I even offer three classes on presentations on Skillshare. It’s a fantastic resource for anyone who has a desire to beef up their creative talents.
You may have read recently about the recent LinkedIn acquisition of Lynda. (SlideShare is also a LinkedIn company.) Why did a company that focuses on networking and professional development acquire an online learning resource? It’s the future. Online learning is here to stay, and like the above, if you have interest to grow in any area related to presenting (design, photography, etc.), you should check out Lynda.
If you love the art of public speaking and you like projects that have a bit of improv, then you may find enjoyment by participating in a local Toastmasters club. It has been around since 1924 and has 313,000 members in 126 countries and 14,650 member clubs. With those types of numbers, you should be able to get involved pretty easily at a local level.
Ignite events are really starting to grow in popularity throughout the world. What is it? A format where presenters only have 20 slides and 15 seconds to present each slide. In other words, they have 5 minutes to “ignite” or enlighten/inspire their audience. It’s a great venue to attend if you are looking for presenting styles that are succinct.
This one is not rocket science. Read. Buy some presentation books and study up on the latest philosophies and trends. Here are few titles you may want to start with:
The Quick and Easy Way to Effective Public Speaking by Dale Carnegie
Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds
Talk like TED by Carmine Gallo
100 Things Every Presenter Needs to Know About People by Susan Weinshenck
The Articulate Executive by Granville Toogood
And for a more comprehensive list, you can go here.
Summer is here. Explore. Read. Learn. Grow. Take advantage of it.
Scott Schwertly is a 2x Ironman and CEO of Ethos3, a Nashville, TN-based presentation boutique providing professional presentation design and training for national and international clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to branded individuals like Guy Kawasaki. If Scott is not working with his team building presentations, you will find him in the pool, on the bike, or on a long run. Scott lives in Nashville, TN with his wife and three dogs. He has a B.A. and M.B.A. from Harding University.