What do you think when you read "what got you here won't get you there?" This is the title of a popular book by Marshall Goldsmith that aims to shake business people out of their narrow focus and into the mindset that you always have to add new skills and knowledge in order to move up your career ladder.
How about your speaking and presentation skills? You've gotten a graduate degree, you've become certified in ways that are appropriate for your industry, you attend professional development seminars but you're still using the speaking skills you learned in college!
The easiest way to demonstrate your suitability for promotions and new titles is to speak and present. Notice I wrote 'demonstrate'--not talk about, not put them on a resume or on a business card--demonstrate. There is always the factor of "show me" when it comes to promotions and recognition. You can impress a lot of people and impact their evaluation of you with excellent polished speeches and presentations.
So what are you waiting for?
1) Make time at least once a week to craft great speaking content. Craft--that means it's an art form, not a writing or slide development exercise. Craft a paragraph or two about something you'd like to speak about even if you don't have a speech or presentation assignment coming up. You're growing your skill.
2) Put an appointment with yourself on your calendar for some speaking coaching. Something as simple as speaking to your coach by phone once a week will add up to real improvement when it comes time to speak to an audience.
3)Seek speaking opportunities. Start with a group within your organization. Speak to a community group. Volunteer to deliver a short breakout session at a company-wide conference. Get out from behind your desk and in front of people.
Perfection isn't the goal--success is! Demonstrate your critical thinking, your creativity and your leadership qualities through your speaking. That promotion opportunity may be right around the corner and you want to be ready for it.