Nervousness often hinders you from being a confident and effective speaker or presenter.
In this article, we will talk about five steps that will help you turn your nervousness into excitement.
1. Embrace the fact that you will be speaking or presenting. Once you know that you will be presenting, don’t deny it. Don’t say it won’t push through. Don’t think some else will do it for you. The more you push against the thought of giving a presentation, the more nervousness you will feel. So you better embrace the fact that it is going to be you and you will be giving that speech or presentation. It is going to happen and you are going to make it happen.
2. Know how much time is given to you to prepare and present. Determine the time available for you to prepare and the time allotted for you to present. Is your presentation going to be tomorrow, next week, or next month? Are you given 5 minutes, 15 minutes, or 50 minutes to present? How much time is available for you to prepare? Is it going to be one hour, one day, one week, or one month?
Once you know these, proceed to the next step.
3. Get clear with the purpose of the presentation. Everything that you do in the preparation and in the delivery of your presentation should lead you to the achievement of that purpose.
Are you going to simply present the status or progress of a project? Are you going to convince the audience to accept your proposal? Are you going to persuade them to support your cause? Are you there to present financial information? Are you meant to interpret a blueprint, design, or set of numbers? Are you there to simplify a complicated report for them? Are you there to recommend solutions on how to solve problems? Are you there to provide suggestions on how to address challenges?
Be crystal clear with your purpose so you know what you are targeting.
4. Prepare the best that you can amidst all constraints. Don’t just prepare, prepare the best way that you can with the available time, information and resources you have. Don’t wish you have more of what is given to you. What do you have? And what can you do about it?
If you cannot change the situation, deal with it. For example, if you need to give the presentation tomorrow, then do your best to prepare today.
If you can change it, go ahead and change it. For instance, if you do not have much information, then research about it.
5. Go and present with the purpose in mind. When the time to present comes, step forward and deliver that presentation with the purpose in mind. Stop thinking about your fears or how you look. Stop focusing on distractions. Focus on the objective. When technology fails, don’t dwell on it. Fix it and move on. Have a back up plan. Be ready to present even without your gadgets. After all, you have prepared and you know how to achieve your objective. Go and present!
These five simple steps will help you turn your nervousness into excitement.
When you embrace the fact that you will be presenting, your thoughts and actions will align to it. When you know how much time is available, you know how to make use of it. When you are clear with your purpose, you know what you need to achieve. When you have prepared well, you are ready to present well. Now, go and be of help to your audience. Serve the purpose of the presentation. Be the effective and confident presenter that you want to become.
(Chris Dao-anis, CPA, DTM helps technical professionals become better presenters and leaders. He is an author of 4 books, including SPEAK: How to Craft and Deliver a Speech or Presentation.)
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