DO YOU DREAD PUBLIC SPEAKING? HERE ARE 3 THINGS THAT COULD MAKE IT MORE BEARABLE
Unless you are a professional public speaker, delivering a presentation to an audience may feel like a daunting task—heck even public speakers get nervous sometimes! Did you know that public speaking ranks high in the list of things people fear the most? Whether you are presenting at your monthly team meeting or at a conference type of event, these tips can help you deliver your presentation without fainting or dying in front of your audience.
Get comfortable: and I don’t mean in the clothing sense—although you should be comfortable in that sense as well, but that’s another post!—I mean get comfortable with the venue. If you have the opportunity to look at the room and the stage beforehand, do it! Getting familiar with the space where you will be presenting will help you feel more comfortable when it’s your turn to present. If you are using visuals, make sure you can easily navigate the technology provided—it’s very awkward when you don’t know which button on that darn clicker is back and which one is forward. Another thing that helps me a lot is connecting and networking with people from the audience before the presentation. This will not only help you understand who your audience is, but it also helps to look out to the audience while you are presenting and see the friendly faces you met earlier.
Learn what works for you and stick to it: I’ve come to peace with the fact that I do a lot better when I position myself in one part of the stage or room and only move within a few inches of that spot. In other words, I discovered that constantly moving and walking to different parts of the stage, does not work for me. The fact that I need to focus on not falling down while walking and talking, distracts me too much. So, I’ve decided to stick with what works for me. If walking and moving around in the stage works for you, then do that! But move purposefully; don’t just pace back and forth because that just looks awkward. And if you are like me and decide to confine your movement to a very small part of the stage, make sure that your voice is projecting through the entire room and that even though you are staying put for the most part, ensure that your command presence is sharp on that stage.
Have fun! Standing in front of a group of people--whether it’s 5 or 500--can be extremely nerve-racking. I’ve found that allowing yourself to be nervous before the presentation is ok—just make sure you keep those nerves in-check! I know it may seem impossible to have fun when you are nervous, but try to turn that nervousness into excitement and enjoy yourself! Draw energy from the audience and make eye contact with the people who are really connecting with what you are saying. If the audience sees that you are having a good time and are happy to be spending time with them, you are going to get great responses from them. Smile and, if appropriate, make them laugh. There is nothing more satisfying than hearing the audience laugh at something you said—it’s exhilarating!
Hopefully these simple tips can help you for your next presentation! What are your tips for preparing for a presentation? Comment!