Asking someone to get up before an audience can often instills a state of fear and anxiety if you’re not used to doing it. Why? For most, it’s the idea that presenting is somehow equated with a total loss of control. Can I do it? How will others see me? What if it all goes wrong?
If you’re in business, presenting is an excellent opportunity for you to network, sell, and brand yourself to audiences you may never have thought of being able to impress! Wouldn’t it be great to share your knowledge and have your audience walk away knowing they’ve learnt something valuable from you?
Equally, if at work you have been asked to present, remember that someone believes that you have information to offer that is valuable, otherwise they would not have asked you!
And more importantly, they believe you can do it otherwise why would they choose you? Here are some useful starting tips on presenting naturally:
- Know your subject; focus on the topic rather than on who is listening. You’re already way ahead of your audience because you are the expert in your field. Run with that; give your audience the benefits of your expertise.
- Understand and accept that every other person in that audience wants you to succeed. It’s an interesting social phenomenon it’s known as a part of the social contract that we humans have with one another. Empathy! Your audience has come hoping to learn and in order to learn they will want you to succeed.
- Try to relax by focusing on the moment rather than your whole presentation. A good comedian will tell you that timing is everything. And timing means being keenly aware of the nuances of the moment. Sure you will follow your outline, but don’t let the forest keep you from enjoying the trees. In other words take advantage of those insights you recognize as you present that may not be included in your notes.
- See yourself succeeding in your mind ; it’s essential to give yourself a pep talk beforehand. Relax, meditate, and create a vision of yourself giving the best presentation of your life.
- Establish eye contact with the audience, your audience will want to make contact with you. Making eye contact is a key factor in connecting to others. Think about your meeting someone for the first time. A firm handshake, looking them in the eye, all these will help you to establish a good first impression.
- Be flexible. Don’t read word for word your presentation. Memorize the key points that you want to make than trust yourself to be able to fill out the information by including what you know about the topic.
Remember anxiety is natural. It’s directly linked to your “anticipation” of the event not the event itself. Once you begin your presentation the anxiety will disappear, your confidence will go up, and you can give a winning presentation.
These and other skills are well within your reach, to learn more…
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