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Everyone gets nervous before making a presentation – but its how you handle your nerves is what makes all the difference
1. Relax and remove your nerves
Palms up – deep breath then exhale repeating the letter “T” – helps you both relax and FOCUS –
Eye contact – one of the fears we have in public speaking is that people are judging us – make indirect eye contact – look at their forehead or the top of their glasses not into their eyes straight away – gives the impression you are looking at them –
Made in Manhattan (2002 Jennifer Lopez – paper clip trick)
2. Know your content inside out – better prepared you are the more comfortable you’ll feel
3. Don’t give a speech – tell a story – don’t try and read/recite and memorize what you want to say – FALL FLAT FOR SURE – practice telling it like a story with a beginning a middle and an end WITH BULLET POINTS ONLY
4. In the days prior Visualize yourself giving a great presentation – this can really help you with confidence – PICTURE THE FEELINGS YOU WILL HAVE WHEN YOU FINISH DELIVERING A GREAT PRESENTATION (ALL TOP ATHLETES AND EXECUTIVES USE)
5. Practice with People You Know and Feel Comfortable With (Including Yourself in the Mirror –
Record yourself to Train your Voice and Body Language
Phone or audacity free audio software
6. Exercise Before Your Presentation
Do a bit of light exercise before you go up on stage and speak.
Because it gets your blood circulating.
This brings oxygen to the brain, allowing you to think clearer.
Doing some simple relaxation breathing exercises is also a great idea.
7. Don’t Start Talking Right Away
Have you ever noticed how the best speakers often take a few seconds of silence to set the tone for their talk? I have.
If you start talking right away, it’s likely you’ll talk too fast or trip over some words. It’s good to take a deep breath at the beginning and take a moment to become comfortable in your surroundings. Don’t worry about pausing for too long before saying anything, your audience will definitely wait.
8. Never Start with An Apology!
One of the best ways to actively disengage your audience is to go up on stage and instantly give an excuse. “Hey, I’m new” is an excuse.
Unless of course it’s followed up by “and so it’s really exciting for me to be here because….” Again, It’s much better to start with an attention-grabbing story or question though.
Don’t apologize for speaking too slow or too fast, having a stutter, being terrible at jokes. You prepared your speech, you created your presentation, and it is your job to own and to really share it.
9. Always Build On Your Strengths
You need to capitalize on your content expertise.
Whether you’re new to public speaking or a seasoned veteran, it’s really important to stick to topics you know very well.
If you know a lot about something, your audience can tell.
If you know very little about something, your audience will also be able to tell.
It’s also important to share what you’re genuinely passionate about because your passion is contagious.
10. You did it! You gave a great speech. The audience is clapping. They’re happy with your performance. You wowed your story and your content. You solved some of their most immediate business problems and pain points.
Do you just walk off stage without saying a thing?
No. You turn around and you thank them. You thank them for expressing their appreciation for your speech. You thank them for listening intently. You thank them for coming.
Let your audience know how to contact you