You might have people's attention, but at the end of the day it's their buy-in that will make or break the idea. Andrew Ng, Co-Founder of Coursera and Assoc. Professor at Stanford University, knows how important speaking and teaching are. So, whether it’s a sales pitch, a lesson plan or a presentation, try his 30-second deliberate practice exercise to improve your skills:
1. Select a 60 second portion of a presentation that you made recently, or that you plan to make.
2. Record yourself making that 60 second presentation. Use a webcam, camcorder, or your cellphone video camera to capture video and audio.
3. Watch your presentation. If you haven’t seen yourself on video much, you’ll be appalled at how you look or sound. This is a good sign; it means that your speaking ability is about to improve dramatically.
4. Decide what you’d like to adjust about your presentation. Then go back to Step 2, try again, making any changes you think will improve your speaking.
5. Repeat the cycle of recording, watching, and adjusting 8 - 10 times.