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Ho Ho Hone Your Presentations

How to Ho-Ho Hone Your Presentation Skills over the Holidays
Six practical practices to help sharpen your skills.

As the odometer turns over one more year I wanted to offer some ways of practicing your presentation skills over the holidays. Anytime really, but since we're in the holiday spirit'

We are constantly presenting ourselves. You don't have to be behind a podium or in front of a group with a PowerPoint slide deck to practice presenting. It's all about muscle memory and breaking habits.

Try these six practical practices and see if you don't look more 'presentable' the next time you give an official presentation.

1. Waiting at the Airport ' When standing and waiting to board your plane or retrieve your baggage, stand tall, feet grounded and arms at your sides. Most people feel awkward standing still with arms resting in the down position but it looks quite natural. Now, of course you wouldn't give an entire presentation with your arms at your sides, but this will help you feel more comfortable in that default position.

2. Exchanging Gifts ' When talking with the sales associate when you return your gifts that don't fit, look them in the eye and smile. There is nothing more authentic then eye contact. You'll establish trust quickly and the person helping you will feel more inclined smile in return and help you find the perfect gift. Your audiences will appreciate that you have been practicing this important skill and will smile back at you!

3. In Crowded Restaurants ' When seated in a noisy restaurant, there is no better opportunity to practice voice projection. You may feel like you want to yell, but that puts your voice into a higher register. Instead, take in a diaphragmatic breath, and project your voice across the table in a tone that is low and strong. You'll see the improvement in your voice projection when speaking to a large group especially if you have no access to a microphone.

4. Waving Down a Cab ' When standing on the curb hailing a cab, this is a wonderful opportunity to use a Zone Three gesture. Let that cab driver know you're serious. Hold your arm at a 70 degree angle and put some energy into the 'wave'. That is the same angle you would be using if you were at the screen showing a slide.

5. Listening to Holiday Songs ' As you listen to the holiday songs or phrases, be mindful of the Three Key Point rule. Examples that quickly come to mind include: We Three Kings, Little Drummer Boy, Oh, Holy Night, Dreidel Dreidel Dreidel, Auld Lang Syne, A Christmas Story. Now, not all the songs, phrases or movies have only three words in their titles but if you restrict your presentation to Three Key Points, chances are good that your audiences will remember and repeat those points over and over again.

6. Reading Books to Children ' Even if you don't have children of your own, reading a children's book to a child is the best way to practice voice modulation. They will love listening to your Scrooge voice and the change in your voice when you're reading Tiny Tim's lines. The more interesting you make your voice, the longer the kids and your audiences will stay tuned to what you have to say.

May 2014 be a wonderful year for all of you. Thank you for staying connected to Red Cup Presentations throughout the years. I wish you great business and persuasive presenting in the New Year.


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