There are three key strategies that can help even the most nervous speaker prepare for their next presentation. These presentation skills are relatively straight forward and easy to implement. They include: 1. Setting A Vision of Success, 2. Preparing & Organizing in Advance, and 3. Taking Time To Breathe & Connect. By following these three strategies, professionals will experience much more comfort and success in their next stand up presentation.
1. Setting A Vision of Success
For many speakers fear is the number one reason they don’t enjoy presentations. Fear of failure, fear of disapproval, even fear of looking stupid. Unfortunately, once fearful thoughts get into the mind of a potential speaker they can take over and become a negative downward spiral of thoughts. Since many fears are just products of our imagination and never materialize, the wise professional learns to harness the power of their mind by redirecting it from fearful thoughts to successful thoughts. Think about it – if your mind can imagine all kinds of outcomes both negative or positive – why not direct your mind to really positive visions. You could imagine a group of warm and welcoming friends in the audience cheering you on while you speak. You might even envision the moment of completion when your remarks are met by loud and enthusiastic applause. Or see yourself leaving the podium with a smile and sense of great accomplishment at the end of your speech! By harnessing your thoughts in a positive direction you can set a vision of success that will radiate out to your audience. Now that we’ve explored the benefits of setting a vision of success, let’s take a look at the second strategy – Preparing & Organizing in Advance.
2. Preparing & Organizing in Advance
It is much easier to feel cool, calm and confident if you have taken time to prepare and organize your remarks in advance. By having a clear point of view, backed up by relevant analysis, facts and figures you will feel much more competent when speaking. Moreover, you will set yourself up to use your notes as reference material that requires only an occasional glance – rather than reading your presentation word for word. You can use any number of tools to organize; a bulleted list, a number of titles, or a series of themes ranked in order of importance. Make sure your organizing device is logical to you, and of course to your audience so that you both keep on track as you speak. By knowing your material well, and organizing in advance, you will feel much calmer when speaking to a group. Now that we’ve explored the benefits of preparing in advance, let’s look at the third strategy – Taking Time To Breathe & Connect.
3. Taking Time to Breathe & Connect
As we mentioned earlier, fear is a big challenge for many professionals who are unpracticed in public speaking. Often the inexperienced speaker imagines the audience as difficult, judging, or cold. However by taking time to breath deeply, center and connect with eye contact most speakers soon realize that the audience is made up of caring, interested, intelligent human beings. The trick is to make a habit of slowing down just before starting to speak to breathe deeply and establish rapport with the people in the room. Look out at the audience’s faces, smile, or make some introductory remarks. Share a quick story or tell them why you’re genuinely glad to be with them today. All of these “connecting” strategies will break the ice and enable you to connect with the real people who make up your professional audience.
By practicing these three skill sets before each presentation, you will become more and more comfortable speaking professionally. You may even come to enjoy stand up presentations and seek out more opportunities to share your remarks in public settings. If you are interested in taking your presentation skills to the next level visit our web site to find out about presentation skills training or to get free reports on how to master your nerves. Visit us at www.boldnewdirections.com