You know the feeling. That sick, sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach when you commit to delivering something that really, really matters in front of an audience. Or better yet, in front of your boss. For many of us, public speaking is one of those things that we know we have to do, but in reality would rather run a million miles away from.
So, if a fantastic opportunity has come your way to deliver a presentation, but the thought of it makes you want to pass out, don’t panic. Just take it one step at a time and you’ll be ready to go.
1. Prepare for the worst
Make time to prepare for any potential technical difficulties. Ithelps to pick three of your biggest fears and create contingency plans in advance. The chances are your biggest fear won’t materialize, but thinking through how to prepare for challenging scenarios in advance means you’ll be ready, just in case something unexpected occurs.
2. Say it out loud
It may sound obvious, but talking out loud is a great way to calm your nerves. Spend time leading up to your presentation figuring out the best way to how to deliver your opening and closing statements with impact. Focus on the most important points you need to convey. Don’t do this in your head, say it out loud.
Remember, your audience won’t know you’re as nervous as hell unless you show them. Be aware of your non-verbal communication. It speaks volumes. Smile. Make eye contact. Don’t be afraid to pause. If you have a positive energy your audience will respond and give you positive energy back.
4. Be authentic
There’s a reason you have this opportunity to present. Don’t forget that. Be yourself, and enjoy sharing your expertise.
It takes time to build your own voice, so give yourself time to do that. Line up your next opportunity and the more you present, the more comfortable you will be when you find yourself center stage.
Post by Octavia Goredema @OctaviaGoredema