Ever have to give a speech or presentation to a group of people and you get all nervous, sweaty, stuttery. Too nervous to even remember what you said when you finished?
I truly think public speaking fear can be largely diminished with a few small shifts in perspective.
Reasons for this fear, and effective ways of dealing with it will vary for everyone, but here are a few tips I’ve come up with myself and gathered from other folks. Some are perception changers – some are just plain, good advice.
1 – Prepare.
Duh! We all know it, but there are so often times when we don’t do it! So prepare.
2 – Remember that your audience wants you to succeed.
Place yourself in their shoes. Most often, when you’re watching someone give a presentation, you’re wishing them well. You aren’t hoping they crash and burn, or looking for every little flaw. Remember that your audience is most likely on your side!
3 – Breathe.
4 – Silence is your friend.
Numbers 3 and 4 are similar. Sometimes taking a pause is the best thing you can do. It allows you to breathe, collect your thoughts without stuttering, and allow a point you’ve made to sink in to your audience. A pause seems much longer to you than your audience, so it’s not as awkward as you think! Do it.
5 -Think about how easy it is to share from a seat in the audience
A lot of times people share with a group from a seat in the audience. We may ask a question, tell a story, provide an answer or an idea. Either way, if told to stand in front of the group and say the same thing, we often freeze up and get nervous. But nothing has changed except our location in the room! Remind yourself that you’re still speaking to the same group of people, just standing in a different spot.
6 – Remember that the people in your audience are people.
Sometimes presenting to folks who you perceive as your superiors can be intimidating. I’ve always found it helps me (even during one-on-one meetings) to remember that the person I am facing is just another person, like me. No better. No worse. Just another person with a different set of experiences than I currently possess. At one point in time, they probably sat in the same, or a similar, seat as me.
7 – Remove attention from yourself.
A fellow participant in seminar I recently attended volunteered this one. He becomes more relaxed and at ease during a presentation if he directs attentin away from himself for a moment after the introduction. It could be something as simple as introducing a colleague, showing a short clip. Either way, it gives him control of the room, a moment to relax, and the ability to move on with the presentatino in a collected fashion.
Ok, that’s all for now. If you want to share some ideas of your own, click the Comment button!