Presentation skills – getting comfortable and managing any nervousness. Get your speech flowing!
As well as death and paying taxes it is almost inevitable that all of us in business will, at some point, have to present information in front of others. Whether it is a 60 seconds at networking, talking through a proposal to a potential customer or client, or a more formal “speech” in some context.
The other evening I was at a meeting and a person really struggled to say clearly even quite simple information about who they were and what they did. In fact what they said came out a bit like this picture!
Here are some top tips – some physical and some mental. If you do a lot of presentations and feel that you struggle and it is letting down your business – then come and have a talk with us. We offer training and coaching that can get this sorted out!
- Do something physical before the presentation – take deep breaths, press your hands together to relieve tension, do muscle-relaxation exercises, take a walk, run on the spot, do aerobics, jog – whatever suits you to get in the zone.
- During the presentation, concentrate on taking full, deep breaths. Oxygen will improve both your nerves and your voice projection. Practice so that it can become subconscious.
- Admit to yourself that nervousness is part of doing it. A little “motivational stress” is a good thing. Turn your nervousness into energy.
- Surround yourself with friendly people before your presentation. Expert speakers routinely use this technique. By surrounding yourself with people before your presentation, you reduce the impact of switching from being “off the stage” to being “on the stage.”
Preventing fear through organising yourself and what you are going to say.
- The big secret to overcoming nervousness is organizing your presentation clearly. Research shows that the major reason people feel stage fright stems from worrying that they will forget what they want to say – they will “freeze” and go into automatic and panic modes – the stream of thought gets full of fear and head clutter!
- If the context is right then start with ‘thank-you’s’. Have a simple structure that suits the occasion and your style – which can be a variation on the old tell the audience what you’re going to tell them, tell them it and then tell them again – a simple message well conveyed is better than a congested stream.
This is in part based on training that Indigo Business (London) has delivered. It’s a great organization – especially if you are interested in lateral thinking styles and how to get your organization more creative! Check out http://www.indigobusiness.co.uk