By: Sally Bevis, Master Trainer, The Skilled Presenter™
Always listed on Top 10 ‘worst fears’ lists is the fear of public speaking. This fear often hinders our ability to promote ourselves effectively in a public forum. Perhaps, you have never been called upon to speak in front of a group at work, or up until now you have effectively passed that opportunity on to someone else. Maybe you have to speak to small groups infrequently but you spend more time thinking about what could go wrong. This affects your ability to focus on doing a great job. Or, maybe you are in front of groups quite often but still feel you could capture and influence your audience more effectively.
Fear is a natural reaction to the unknown but this avoidance tactic can be career limiting. Those who are able to rise above and speak effectively in front of a group are often viewed as confident and knowledgeable. They are able to seize the opportunity to be in front of a group and promote their ideas, either internally or by representing the company to potential clients. Conquering this fear is not hard. It really comes down to technique and practice. Here are a few quick tips that will help you on your journey to becoming a more confident and accomplished presenter.
1) Put yourself in your audience’s shoes. Thinking about a topic from their perspective allows you to not only position your ideas to them but in a way that will resonate with your audience. Often speakers focus on the message that they want to deliver without thinking about why the audience is there or what their needs are.
2) Get rid of your nerves by doing something physical. Do something that allows you to release negative energy and focus on the task at hand. A simple walk, shoulder rolls or stretches can get rid of that pent up nervousness.
3) Practice what you want to say out loud. Don’t memorize what you are going to say. The rehearsed lines in your head are very different to what will come out of your mouth. Always practice out loud preferably to a trial audience who will give you some constructive feedback.
These are just some quick tips to get you started. For a more in-depth look at how to:
- Be a successful presenter
- Exploring how to put a presentation together
- How to connect and send messages of confidence with your body (not just with words),
- How to practice until you are polished.
Check out our workshop, The Skilled Presenter™.