It’s not easy to do presentations in front of an audience– the pressure and attention can be nerve-wracking. But in business, whether we like it or not, we’re tasked to do presentations in front of colleagues, clients… all kinds of people. Phil Stella, President of Effective Training & Communication, gives advice on how to deal with presentation anxiety and well, actually have fun presenting.
Hi, I’m Phil Stella with Effective Training & Communication … empowering business leaders to take the Pain out of Workplace Presentations. And speaking of pain, how many of you experience pain when you deliver presentations at work? How many hate speaking in public? I see a lot of hands up, so let’s briefly discuss five simple strategies for managing your Presentation Anxiety.
First, it’s a perfectly normal human feeling. Everyone has some degree of PA; It’s caused by reactions to stress and fear.
Second, PA doesn’t have a singular cause. It’s the result of a number of different and separate factors that vary by person and situation. And you can take specific actions to reduce their impact. Begin by clearly identifying each specific factor you think causes your level of PA, like fear of forgetting for fear of audience questions.
Third, for each of these specific causes, what simple steps can you take to reduce or minimize its impact? To minimize the fear of forgetting, practice enough to remember most of your content and create simple, easy-to-read speaker notes to remind you of the rest. Minimize the fear of audience questions by anticipating the obvious ones and creating short clear answers for them.
Fourth, no matter what you do, you’ll still have some level of PA left, so mask the symptoms that show up in your vocal and physical delivery. Pause more and longer … smile more often … sustain eye longer contact … and avoid those movements or gestures that appear nervous. Look and sound confident to your audience … and you are, because their perception is your reality.
And fifth … hard as it sounds … look like you’re having fun up there.
So, there you have five simple strategies for reducing Presentation Anxiety. Best wishes for presenting with more confidence and less pain.
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About the Grow Your Business Cleveland video series:
GYB CLE is an original web video series featuring real CLE business experts sharing their own nuggets of tips, tricks, and approaches to succeeding in careers, becoming more profitable, and living better lives. Co-producing and appearing in the GYB CLE series are NEO Interns who get hands-on experience and earn much needed credentials that will provide an early boost in their careers. Videos will be distributed via multiple GYB CLE channels, contributors channels, and on-line audience sharing.