Getting inspiration outside the office is an essential element to improve public speaking skills. The new film The King's Speech is a great inspiring history on the struggle with this skill.
Inspiration is not a word you hear often coming out from a scientist. The word evokes the mental picture of artists, not scientists. But if you really want to improve your presentation skills you will need it.
Back in high school I had really lousy history and geography teachers. But when the school finally found an exceptional one, it was already too late for me. Sitting on those classes was a drag. However, watching the History Channel was another thing. Could history teachers get some inspiration from it? Curiously, the only fun activity I remember from my history class was a half-day trip around my town visiting churches. See? Inspiration.
One way to get inspiration for scientific talks in to watch science documentaries and cool movies. One of these movies is The King's Speech. Based on the true history of King George VI of England struggle with public speaking in the midst of the World War II, the film's trailer is already inspiring enough to improving public speaking skills. I'll be patiently waiting for DVD since here in Germany is tough to get movies on their original version. OK, you might not be the King of England, nor be fighting a war. You might not have to give The King's Speech, but you might have to give The Scientist's Talk.