The 5 Skills that Will Boost Your Confidence in Front of Audiences

Presentation SkillsAs event planners, there is often a need to speak in front of an audience. At some events, meeting and event planners, make announcements, give instructions, introduce speakers and panelists, and wrap up and summarize events.

For many, this comes naturally, while others struggle with nerves. Well, here 5 skills to boost your confidence in front of audiences (and have fun doing it).

  1. Acting
    A number of the skills that professional actors hone are equally important for event professionals. and if you have your own business, the ability to bounce back when times are tough. Producing results under tight constraints is also critical for both professions. (For many projects, actors receive less than 24 hours notice for auditions. They need to prepare quickly.)

    What to take:
    • an on-camera audition class
    • a Meisner class (designed by the late Sanford Meisner)
    • a Method acting class (designed by the late Lee Strasberg - he was on camera with many of his students as Hyman Roth in The Godfather)
       
  2. Improvisation
    Improvisation skills will help meeting and event planners develop more comfort in dealing with last minute changes and come up with solutions "on the fly" during events.

    What to take:
    • The Second City offers classes and workshops in Chicago, Hollywood, and Toronto
    • Check with SAG (or ACTRA in Canada). Many Second City alumni offer workshops elsewhere.
       
  3. Voice
    This one is obvious. To use your voice effectively without losing it, devoting quality time to honing voice skills will pay off. (We've all been there when microphones fail just before we have to make an important announcement).

    What to Take
    • Check with SAG (or ACTRA in Canada) for listings of voice classes for actors.
       
  4. Presentation Skills
    Definitely, every event, meeting, or conference planner would get great benefits from presentation skills training. A lot of corporations offer them internally for employees, but these often get put on the chopping block when the economy went into a tailspin.

    What to take:
    • Dale Carnegie
    • FranklinCovey
    • McLuhan & Davies Communications offers a variety of classes and workshops in 30 countries
       
    Joining Toastmasters is another excellent way to hone presentation skills.
     
  5. Facilitation Skills
    Event and meeting planners use facilitation skills at meetings, when serving on association boards, during brainstorming sessions, and when leading project teams.

    What to take: Focus on train-the-trainer or facilitation skills programs designed for professional facilitators:
    • NTL Institute
    • Langevin Learning Services

Quick Google searches turned up a number of Toastmasters clubs and a number of the resources mentioned in this blog post promote their events on Cvent.

For more tips for developing skills for event planners, also read  Back to School: 30+ Strategies to Tap Into Your Creativity Back to School: Learning Resources for Event Planners and  How to Conquer Your Fear of Public Speaking.

Photo Credit: GDNet

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