An old NY Times survey revealed those asked, felt speaking in front of colleagues followed by speaking in front of strangers were both more to fear that death itself! When it comes to your pounding heart, sweaty palms and shaky knees, when you present, the best solution still seems to be, “Practice makes perfect”. But is that enough?
This blog was written by author Kurt Larsson.
It wasn’t for me. Since being forced from the stage, after my mouth froze up during a school presentation, I have been working with body language and presentation technique and have now held workshops in both for 20 years. If I can enjoy presenting, so can you!
Whether you want to stand up to express yourself at a school meeting, feel more at home presenting to skeptical buyers or calm angry shareholders down, here are some tips.
Serve More and Perform Less
Standing for and presenting from a platform of service, rather than trying to perform for yourself, are surefire ways to calm your fears and increase presentation efficiency. Performing, in this instance, means trying to please that little voice in your head.
The more you focus on serving, the more you can connect with your audience. Serving allows you to “disappear” into your listeners’ experience while lowering the volume on your little, internal voice. This practice lessens the scary thoughts it wishes to impart. It becomes about them.
Staying present with your audience, rather than retreating into your thoughts and fears, drastically reduces your fear of presenting and allows you to serve better. What scares us most is all those thoughts of what can go wrong.
When you really begin to distinguish that little voice and all those scary thoughts as just another part of you, then you can begin to adjust or eliminate them. Remaining present eliminates distance between you and your listeners and allows you to better tackle their concerns.
The more you breathe, the more you relax. The more you relax, the more your body will resonate your message. Just like a flute or tuba, the more air that flows through a wind instrument, the richer its tone becomes. With our lungs, vocal cords and mouth, aren’t we also wind instruments? You can either inspire yourself and others to listen or you can try to survive your presentation.
Unite with rather than separate from your listeners
Now, walk towards your listeners, take a few inspiring breaths, open up your arms and unite with your listeners. Notice more connection?
All of these simple tools and tips will help you create a stronger relationship and produce better results between you and your listeners.
This article contains just a few of the many tools and tips found in my latest book, Presentation Nervousness to Confidence, Consciously Preparing & Delivering Sensational Presentations. Check it out here:
Thanks for reading this article and I look forward to reading your comments and reviews.