I can’t emphasize enough how important your public speaking skills are as an engineer. Depending on your discipline and specific job description, you very well could have to deliver multiple presentations per week throughout your engineering career. The quality of your presentations will undoubtedly have a huge impact on your engineering career development, specifically on your ability to advance from engineer to manager.
I have some good news to share with you on this topic. Public speaking is not a talent or gift that you are born with, it is a skill that must be developed and constantly improved. The best public speakers in the world were probably just as scared as you are to get up on stage at one point in their lives. That is not justgood news, it’s great news, because it means that no matter how much you fear public speaking, you can overcome your fear and shine with the best of them.
I wrote this post to serve as a Public Speaking for Engineers 101 crash course to give you some key pointers in developing the speaker inside of you. So here goes nothing:
- The more you speak in public, the better you get. This is the cardinal rule in improving your public speaking skills. You must get up on stage in front of real live people and present. Please don’t stand in front of your mirror talking to yourself—it doesn’t work. The difference between standing in front of a mirror and standing in front of a crowd is monumental. You can’t capture that feeling of looking out over 20 or 2,000 people. You have to experience it several times to be comfortable with it. Every time you do it, you become more and more comfortable in front of the crowd. To accomplish this task in a safe atmosphere, join a local chapter of Toastmasters International. [Read more…]