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How to Give a Pretty Good Presentation: A Speaking Survival Guide for the Rest of Us by T. J. Walker

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Chapter 25. Develop the Art

What's Another Good Way to Keep My Presenting Skills from Becoming Awful?

Use them as frequently as possible. I know that you don't love to give speeches—and you aren't a preacher who's putting speaking skills to use every Sunday morning—but try not to let them rot away from underuse. After all, how good will your golf game become if you play golf only once every five years? Probably not very good. However, if you play golf once every three weeks, you'll at least know, more or less, how you will do next time you are on the links. I'm not suggesting you spend every free night giving speeches at the local toastmasters club, but you could look for some opportunity to speak out once every three or four weeks. It could simply be giving a toast in front of six friends at a birthday party, or asking a question at a school board meeting. It might even just mean that you volunteer to say the pledge of allegiance at school convocation. Every time you speak in front of more than a person or two, it helps your body and mouth condition itself to surviving the nerves and tensions associated with giving presentations.

Imagine how difficult it would be to stand up and walk across the room if you sit in a chair for a whole year without getting up once. Your legs would be wobbly and weak. The same is true for giving presentations; if you wait a year in between them, you will also be wobbly and weak. You might not be an Olympic-class runner now, but you can most likely walk ...

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