* Pt I of a 3 part series, as seen on CNBC.com
A random internet search for cures for fear of public speaking produces over 2 million results. That is a shame.
No matter how many books, courses, DVDs, websites or snake oil salesmen promise to “cure” you of your fear of public speaking; it is never that simple, or that easy. And that is ok.
The reality is that every executive has a rush of adrenaline before presenting – the normal “fight or flight” response. Nervous energy, properly channeled, actually enhances a presentation.
So how can you help to alleviate and effectively channel some of the tension and anxiety prior to your next presentation?
Here are 25 Tips that will help:
- Prepare - The more you prepare and the better handle you have on the material you are presenting, the better it will go.
- Practice – Once you have prepared, you MUST practice, early and often. Rumor has it that Churchill practiced for one hour per one minute of speech content he was delivering. 5 minute presentation = 5 hours practice. How long are you practicing?
- Check out the Room – Familiarity breeds comfort. Surprise s the day of a presentation are not fun and ratchet up anxiety tenfold. Is there a podium? What technology are you using and does it work?
- Read the Room – While not always an option, when you have the opportunity to meet a few audience members beforehand, take it! Arrive ten minutes early and introduce yourself to a few people. If you are presenting mid-day, arrive before a key break to meet a few folks.
- “Seed” the Audience – Ask friends, associates or colleagues come to your presentation. Talk to the conference organizers when you arrive. Locate them before you take the stage, if possible. Identify where friendly faces are sitting. The purpose – to have friendly faces to focus on if the anxiety starts to build
- Remember the audience is on your side – 9 times out of 10, the audience is rooting for you to succeed, not waiting for you to fall flat.
Please share this with colleagues as there are a lot of people who suffer from this fear that can benefit from some or all of these tips. Part II will follow shortly.