Get over your fear of presentation
You can stop fear of presentation – here are 8 ways.
1. Ask yourself “what information is the audience looking for when giving a presentation?”
When you are first approached to make a presentation the first thing you should think about is your audience, not yourself. Ask yourself “what do they want/need to know”, in that way, they’ll get what they want and you will feel more confident.
2. It’s normal to feel nervous when making a presentation
The most confident of presenters feel nervous. Many famous actors are physically sick before they go on stage. Being nervous just means doing it well is important to you. Don’t feed your nerves by focusing on them, look around, notice a colour for instance and put all your focus on that. Breathe calmly, breathe in for 4 seconds, hold the breath for 2 seconds and breath out for 6 seconds, ensuring you are breathing through your diaphragm. You will need some adrenaline to give you sparkle, so just embrace the nerves.
3. Keep it simple
Whatever you want to audience to take away it should be able to be condensed into no more than 15 words. This should be the focus of the beginning, middle and end of your presentation. It comes under the heading of “the takeaway message”.
4. Being a perfectionist is not helpful
Over-rehearsing can be as bad as under-rehearsing. Wanting to get it right’ causes more anxiety and it also means that you’re less spontaneous. It is important that your personality shines through. The audience want you to do well, so it’s fine to be casual if you make an error, audiences like human beings. So don’t be a robot.
5. Be a risk taker
Predictable presentations are often dull presentations. Make a joke or two, have images that tell the story; have props, do the unexpected. In other words, bring your talk alive. Share something personal, have a phrase that you hang your hat on. Don’t make it safe and predictable, do the unexpected.
6. Stories are great…
Stories add character, drama and colour to a talk, use metaphors; They’re one of the best ways to connect with your audience and to have them remember your message. But be sure to look for stories that are of interest to the audience, maybe something that is personal to them, or something humorous that made you realise why the topic is so important. Stories will be so much easier for you to remember and more interesting than lists of statistics.
7. Use vocal gymnastics
The worst thing you can do is to be monotonous when speaking. Add depth to your voice; highs and lows, variable speeds. Use your personality to highlight and emphasize different parts of your message. Remember “it’s not what you say, it’s the way you say it.”
8. Public Speaking is your opportunity to influence, impact and inspire
Make the most of your opportunity. Your role as a presenter is to add value by leading the audience to knowledge and inspiration. Challenge your audience to change through your words.