In a survey of ‘greatest fears’ apparently giving presentations came out number one – dying came number three!
So if you are terrified of giving a presentation it turns out so is just about everyone else. I guess that standing up and talking to people is not a ‘natural’ thing to do so we begin to start thinking – what if I ….look stupid, say the wrong thing, dry up etc etc etc and can freeze.
Presenting to a group is a skill – that means it can learnt and many training events focus on how to put together the words.
Problem with that approach is that usually you already have the content and maybe can get some advice on making really slick slides.
Now think about a presentation you have seen – did you go away thinking those were great slides? Probably not.
Most of the time what we remember is the person delivering the presentation.
I have written and delivered lots of training but the fun thing is seeing individuals make the skills their own. They look in command of the space and by being so at home they can let their knowledge and passion for their subject shine through!
Top tip – SMILE and imagine that you are having 1:1 conversations with everyone in the room over the time of the presentation.
So remember – being anxious about presentations is where we all begin. You can learn and practise to develop your skills and to stamp your personality on it.
Talk to any great presenters you know and get their insights and model them.
You can be a great presenter by being you!
I am looking for ‘ordinary heroes’ who would be willing to tell their story in an interview to inform and inspire others?
What is an ‘ordinary hero’? They are men and women of all ages who as part of their daily routine are doing amazing things. These individuals show resilience – they bounce back in the face of adversity. They show true courage -they speak out openly and honestly from the heart. They take risks for things they believe in and they may fail and get disappointed and rather than deny their feelings and that they are ‘ordinary’people and imperfect they understand that it is part of who they are. They keep going! They show up!
Please contact me here or through the website if you know a story that needs telling.
As an introvert at heart going in to a room of people I don’t know and walking up to them and saying hello is fairly scarey to begin with. To then have to do the dreaded lift speech (elevator pitch if you are in US) can be torture. That 40 secs or 1 minute can seem like you are giving the longest speech of your life.
Sitting there as you can see the spotlight move towards you – I can even hear the music from Countdown (TV show – check it out on you tube)) playing down in my head if I try hard to get myself feeling really bad.
Now here’s the truth – we all feel some of that most of the time when we are new to networking and for some of us elements of that discomfort remain.
And yet – you can choose to feel differently by thinking differently.
I found when I stopped thinking of the event as ‘networking’ which for me had lots of negative associations and talked about ‘connecting’ I felt more relaxed as I know I enjoy connecting with people.
If I am feeling apprehensive in a group I ask the other person questions – the thing is I am interested in them and what they are doing and so a conversation develops. And for me that is what networking is about – having conversations not making a sales pitch.
And what about the 40 secs or minute when you stand up and talk about you and your business – lots of tips there about how you can relax us but number one for me is SMILE! Oh, and keep breathing.
Think about the content and notice how fast you may have to talk to fit it in to the time. It will be more effective to say less and speak at a pace the group can take in. Less really is more.
Meeting people is great for you and your business – as a sole trader you can feel isolated and easy to lose focus so get out there and talk with passion about your story! Make connections to build your business!!!
This talk is so worth investing just 20 minutes of your time and I hope you will find it insightful and check out if you have ever had a vulnerability hangover!
I can think of a number of those Oh s**t what did I think I was doing moments!
Laugh and reflect!
Susan Cain’s TED talk reflects on the place for introverts in a society that values being ‘outgoing’ and promotes it as essential to success. Remember 33% – 50% of the population are introverts so to design our institutions including schools and workplaces for extroverts means we lose out on their creativity and their contribution.