If you’re like most people, the thought of giving a presentation is terrifying. All those eyes on you. Here are five tips that will help you get over your reluctance and learn to enjoy public speaking.
- Be prepared. Really prepared. Go over your message until you internalize it. You don’t need to memorize it, but know it so well you don’t need to rely on your speaking notes. I find it helpful to know my transitions from one idea to the next.
- Don’t memorize your talk, but do memorize your opening. The first couple of sentences are always the toughest and it’s so great to not have to think about them. Craft an opening that will engage your audience immediately and take the time to memorize it.
- Focus on your message and your audience instead of yourself. I rarely feel nervous when I speak, and it’s because I believe it’s vitally important for my audience to hear my message. I know it will change their lives for the better. I am only the messenger and not nearly as important as the message. Therefore, in my mind, no one is paying attention to me. Instead, they are hearing what I have to say.
- Keep a glass of water nearby. I remember the first time I spoke. It was on a panel at an academic conference. I was prepared and didn’t feel nervous, but much to my surprise and chagrin, my mouth went super dry. It must’ve been painful for the audience to listen to because some kind person ran to get me a glass of water.
- Don’t fight it. Embrace your nervousness and let it work for you. Channel your nervous excitement into concentration and expressiveness. Show your passion.
Any other ideas that work for you? Please share.
Want to learn more? Check out our fantastic Presenting to Groups course.