Does presenting fill you with fear?
Personally, I love presenting but I know that there are others who do not relish the opportunity in the way that I do. Whilst I am excited at the prospect, I know that many are filled with fear.
Do you watch/ listen to a presentation, podcast or talk and think ‘I could never do that’? Or perhaps the thought of doing a presentation fills you with dread? You’re avoiding making that LinkedIn video for fear of mixing up your words or you’ll happily write the tender pitch but go out of your way to get someone else deliver it.
You are not alone! Chances are, a lot of the people giving confident presentations once felt that way. Over time, they’ve developed their own personal techniques to help them look and feel confident with their presentations.
Over the years I have coached colleagues and clients, both on a one to one and in a group situation and it is so rewarding to see the transformation from shy, reluctant speaker to a confident communicator.
When helping clients who want to improve their communication skills and gain confidence in presenting I use 4 basic principles: Purpose, Practise, Present and Power.
Whether it is a presentation, a podcast, a video, sales pitch or tender, there will always be a purpose. You may be trying to win sales, to promote a special offer or new service, or to present a new idea. As you prepare you need to ask yourself – ‘what do I want my audience to do as a result of hearing me speak?’ Having a clear purpose ensures that you include all the relevant information and make it easy for the audience to respond.
In the car … in the shower….wherever works for you. Practise out loud to yourself, practise in front of others. Make sure they will provide constructive feedback. There is no point practising in front of someone who will always tell you that you are amazing. Winging it often leads to too many ‘mmms’ or ‘right’ or ‘so’ and it is only with practise that you will gain the confidence in your own ability that will lead to being more comfortable with presenting.
Take a moment at the beginning to be comfortable in your stance, make sure you can see your notes and start when you are ready. Enjoy the opportunity. Don’t forget to pause, make sure you smile (even if you have to write a reminder into your speaker notes!). If you do lose your place, take a moment – it will seem much longer to you than it actually will to anyone else.
For the length of time you have the floor, you are in control. You have the power to change hearts and minds, to influence, to negotiate, to sell …. so don’t waste the opportunity. Put power into how you present – from how you look, how you stand, how you open and through what you say. The power is in your hands. Work out what makes you nervous and how to control it. Starting with confidence will make the whole experience less nerve wrecking.
“With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident, and more and more successful.” – Mark Victor Hansen
If you’d like to chat about how I could support you with ‘Putting some Power into your Pitch’, please contact us.Contact Us