Get your presentation skills sorted — 5 day challenge

Trisha Lewis - Unsquashed!
4 min readSep 8, 2017

Just a snap of me in action

Have you ever said: ‘I am rubbish at public speaking’? Do you dream of having engaging presentation skills?

Have you ever thought: ‘I wish I knew how to put a talk together that wouldn’t bore people’

Then good news — this blog post is spot on for you.

You are going to learn 5 steps to shut up the ‘rubbish at’ voice and equip you with tactics that supercharge your presentation skills. What you need is a challenge — no more procrastination. Just test yourself out — follow these 5 days of challenges and get things moving — action is the best tool to beat over-thinking and procrastination!

If you have a mouth and a brain you can speak in public

That’s all very well, but what if….

  • my voice isn’t nice to listen to
  • I shake when I try to speak in public
  • people just glaze over when I start a speech
  • I freeze up half way through — and look stupid
  • people know I am sweating
  • I get asked something I can’t answer

We never completely get rid of the gremlins in our brain — nagging nasty negative gremlins. We can put them in a box though — and starved of fresh air they begin to wilt. The best tools we have to enable us to put these fears into a box — tactics and action — followed by learning and more action — we can take control.

Priority #1 is to give your audience a good experience — whether it is 2 minutes or 2 hours. You want them to feel engaged, involved, interested. Maybe inspired, motivated — and in some way ‘richer’ for the experience of having listened to your message.

So that is something to aim for!

Study this list — they all make for strong connection with the audience:

  • Relaxed body posture
  • Conversational style
  • Unexpected ‘twist’ or ‘change of tone’
  • Involving the audience with reflective questions … (Don’t you..?)
  • Humour — but in a very relaxed authentic style — woven in.
  • Serious points combined with humour

Really? I hear you say. ‘I do the 5 day challenge and I will achieve this standard? Come on!’

Well no — you will not reach this level of skill overnight — what seems so natural to experienced speakers will actually have been highly prepared, practised and tweaked with with all that experience.

However, you have to start somewhere . So start now.

Here’s your action plan

  • Start. Write a list of all the reasons for making the effort — and start the journey.
  • Take this 5 day challenge set out below.
  • Sign up below to get your free mini training video on and around the challenge of ‘presentations’ ‘elevator pitches and ‘public speaking’.
  • Consider further input from a good coach :)

Ready to get started — here is your 5-day challenge to get you presentation ready.

During your 5 days you need to make time to work through the following process — it won’t take a whole day — but needs commitment.

DAY 1 — get to know your voice

  • Read for 1 minute — out loud — from an article that interests you — record it on your Iphone or Laptop recorder. Play back. Listen as objectively as you can. Make a note of what you ‘feel’ and write a list of the obvious ‘need to sort’ stuff.
  • Repeat step 1 — but do it ‘better’.

DAY 2 — get objective feedback

  • Write your own piece on your ‘thing’ — no more than 500 words (side of A4 ish). Now memorise — not word perfect — you can have the headings on flash cards.
  • Get a guinea pig — not literally. A friend who will give brutally honest feedback. Deliver the piece to this friend.

DAY 3 — explore content and delivery

  • Spot your body language negatives — is it relaxed and normal
  • Would an audience feel relaxed watching and listening to you?

DAY 4 — fine tune and feedback

  • Now get your guinea pig again (and ideally 2 or 3) — and by now you will also have changed the structure and content a little — paying attention to the flow and engaging quality of your message
  • Deliver the mini talk to the guinea pig/s. DO THIS AS IF YOU WERE IN A CONVERSATION — but also in control and using a structure — that’s the strong/warm balance you need to aim for.
  • Get them to write notes and feedback afterwards.

DAY 5 — chill out & get confident

  • Go for a walk. Go over your presentation out loud and in your head — get very comfortable with the flow, purpose and content. Feel like you own it — and get excited about the message. Relax and prepare.

If you really commit to the above list of actions (done in the right order) — you will have the tools to feel more confident about getting out there and spreading the word about you and your business — engaging people who might well become clients and who will certainly start spreading the word about you in a positive way.

If this is your first attempt at doing a presentation then be gentle with yourself — you won’t be at your top level until you start getting more practice.

Great example of a likeable engaging speaker — Ken Robinson

Did you spot the magic? By the way — please get obsessed with TED TALKS — they are the best tutor you could ask for (apart from me — but there’s only one of me!)

Would you agree that Ken Robinson engaged that audience within about 2 seconds and never lost them? Well — study that list I ran through higher up the page — he used ALL those tactics.



Trisha Lewis - Unsquashed!

What if we spotted and sorted our 'self squashing ®' - what if we used curiosity as an anitdote to comparisonitis and self-consciousness? Let's see!