That got me thinking. Have I been to any country where participants in one of my workshops said, "Sure, we know all that. We learned it in our presentation skills class." Nope, not that I can think of. And yet, there are so many times in life where better speaking skills come into play, from teaching a classroom full of students to arguing a court case to a jury to pitching a new product to a group of potential investors. Whoa, let's not forget speaking to our peers at professional and academic conferences. Let's face it, this is an "in demand" skill and one that has been sorely neglected. I can think of so many examples where asking "What does your audience want/need to know?" instead of "What do I want to tell them?" would have helped the speaker craft a better presentation and earn a more favorable reaction from the audience.
So there are two ways for me to feel about this. One, I can be frustrated and complain about how schools need to make presentation skills a priority. (Don't worry, I've done this.) Or two, I can continue to reach out to schools, government organizations, and private training centers in cities that I visit and offer training workshops. In the past, I have used Facebook and email to do this but now I'm starting to be more aggressive on LinkedIn and I think it is paying off. What let to this bold new approach of contacting strangers on a networking website whose premise is that you only contact people you actually know? I think this Twitter exchange sums it up best.
So if you or someone you know is in Khabarovsk, Vladivostok, Dubai, Muscat, Istanbul, or Antalya, let's discuss setting up a workshop as I'll be in those cities in the somewhat near future. If you're somewhere else in the world and want to talk about setting up some training, I'd love to cash in some air miles and visit. Let's replace "Nobody, taught me that." with "I felt more comfortable speaking in front of people now that I know what to do."