Most people walk into presentation skills class with fear and trepidation yet it is a critical skill to have in today’s business world. They dread the feeling of being put on the spot; the judgement from the fellow participants; stumbling and not recovering; counting crutch word; heart palpitating, palms and armpits sweating. Most of these are just in our mind. We bring these issues upon ourselves. The truth is that people want you to succeed. They are rooting for you. They want you to walk up to the front of the room or sit at a conference table, open your mouth and present your content with confidence. Speeches are about stories, tell yours.
“There are three things to aim at in public speaking: first, to get into your subject, then to get your subject into yourself, and lastly, to get your subject into the heart of your audience.” – Alexander Gregg
The one thing I like to remind my students is that “Practice makes Practiced”. There is no perfection involved. Perfectionism is a mind trap. Those so called nerves are really butterflies which will diminish after 3 minutes into your presentation. Everyone gets them, even the most seasoned professional. It just what you do with them that counts. Never let them see you sweat doesn’t mean you won’t. Take some deep breathes, practice positive self-talk, drink some water, introduce yourself to the audience as they enter the room and familiarize yourself with your setting.
As you continually practice presenting so will your confidence develop.
Where do we get a chance to practice?
- Big presentations
- Client presentations
- Sales call
- All hands meeting
- One-on-ones with boss, client or colleague
“There are always three speeches, for every one you actually gave. The one you practiced, the one you gave, and the one you wish you gave.” –Dale Carnegie
I was ask to speak for Office Depot WebCafe. I wanted to know how many people would be on the conference call. They said it was the most they ever had 5,400. My mind went to fear, then I quickly thought I only had to speak to one person not 5,400. I had a vision of the perfect conference call participant and the butterflies went away. The conference call was a success by practicing positive self-talk.
Build your confidence through presenting and the issue areas above will diminish. People want your confidence above all else, so give it to them. You will be seen in a positive light. Good presenters move up further and faster in their career. So enroll yourself in a class or practice in-house with team members or colleagues. As Nike says “Just Do It”.
Check out Paragon Strategies, Helping You Grow Yourself, Your People and Your Business, Powerful Presentations Class on August 25th in San Francisco at www.paragonstrategies.com or 415-310-9894
About Jerry Ervin: CEO and Founder of Paragon Strategies. Driven by a desire to help organizations and individuals reach their highest potential, Jerry is a skilled trainer, coach and consultant. As a widely-sought after trainer, he makes sure that his customized instructional style is always a dynamic fusion of fun, theory and experiential learning – the key elements that guide the philosophy of Paragon Strategies. As a keenly perceptive executive coach, he is adept at guiding professionals in overcoming behavioral barriers by carefully examining and challenging the assumptions that underlie their behavior. As a consultant, he draws on his extensive industry experience to analyze existing business problems and assist companies in developing sound business plans that are designed to amplify the bottom-line. firstname.lastname@example.org 415-310-9894