Posted in Achieve, Business & Career on 18 April 2013 | by Sam

Career: The Key Skill Of The Future

Ever since school, you’ve been presenting information to groups of people. In primary school, it was book reports, in secondary school it was PowerPoint presentations and in university it was 10,000 word papers. Recall those days?

 

Deception - the social network

In every class, there were always those people who never got nervous, never stuttered and always seemed to want to be up there. These people were never taught how to be comfortable in front of a crowd; they were just good at it. They were naturally talented performers. The rest of us mere mortals could barely get a word in edgeways without feeling those eyes on us – judging our every word. There were no core classes that focused on improving these skills, and, as a result, most of us never became proficient at it. This is the art of performing, and it’s one of the most ignored skill sets on the planet. It is also, however, one of the most important to master.

 

The consequence of this is most people never bother to learn how to perform. They either learn by failing (which isn’t always a bad thing) or avoid it altogether. This leaves many of us well educated but unequipped to deal with anything that requires a public performance. This is unfortunate, as so many of today’s careers require some performing. Presenting information to superiors, convincing co-workers to follow your proposal for solutions or defending your opinions in front of a judge all demand a performance: the ability to convince someone of something they may not believe.

 

There is a certain level of nerves everyone has when confronted with these types of situations. That is normal. The fear is not, and neither is the avoidance.

 

presenting an award

The fear exists only because no one ever made performing a required skill. In fact, the study of performance arts has traditionally been isolated to the drama students. The study of speech and debate is a fringe class or after-school activity. Neither is a mainstream part of our education. It should be. If it were, 20-somethings in nascent careers wouldn’t be afraid of speaking up when their professional opinion is needed.

 

Acting classes aren’t the only way to practice your performance skills. There are plenty of more business-minded oration and dictation classes you could take. Or you can also practice on your own. Peter Lewis has provided Elysium Magazine a fantastic insight into getting in the right frame of mind to present with passion.

 

Communication: School?

It is good to remember that confidence breeds skill and skill breeds confidence. Eventually, the expectant eyes of your superiors will no longer clam you up. Practice enough, and you’ll be able to bring that welling nervousness under control and use it to your advantage.

 

 

For more information visit Elysium Magazine’s Achieve section.

 


 
 
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