Thursday, 2 May 2013

The Eight Most Frequent Mistakes People Make in Front of Crowds and Cameras

“Only the prepared speaker deserves to be confident.”

These top eight mistakes will show you what to avoid in the spotlight—but also help you see what it takes to be successful.

Mistake 1: Underestimating the Importance of Public Speaking to Your Career.
A retail executive had been promoted to CFO. She had a strong financial background and a seventeen-year track record. She had earned the CEO’s respect for her candor and hard work. However, because she’d been overseas for several years, she didn’t know her U.S. colleagues well. 
        In the first weeks in her new stateside position, she uncovered problems in her operation and quietly went to work. She was not someone who sought the limelight or asked for help. She also avoided making presentations and was quiet in meetings unless someone asked her a question.
       While that approach may have worked for her in the past, it was about to backfire now. Senior leaders in this particular organization expected to help each other by sharing information. E-mails leaked out about her problematic operational situation, and the senior team confronted her. The CEO scheduled a meeting, and she was asked to make a PowerPoint presentation. A crisis is no time to learn how to make a good presentation. 

The new executive not only had to put together her slides and prepare her talk but also knew she had to get ready to face some tough questions. Fortunately, she pulled a lot of people in to help. She practiced and prepared. She delivered a decent presentation. And she learned an important lesson. “It took seven years off my life,” she said. “I realized this is something I should have learned a long time ago.”
         Don’t wait—your time will come. If you want to lead the company, you should never underestimate the importance of public speaking. You will be judged by the way you handle the hot seat. The judgment day isn’t six months before they decide to make you CEO. Judgment days happen all along the way. Be ready long before you have to be ready.

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