Do you fear Public Speaking more than DEATH?
Surveys about our fears commonly show fear of public speaking at the top of the list. Our fear of standing up in front of a group and talking is so great that we fear it more than death, in surveys at least.
Quoted from: The Thing We Fear More Than Death
This applies to ALL “Presentations” whether they be “Sales Presentations” to 1 or just a few people all the up to “Keynote Speaking.”
This fear is a REAL fear which I believe requires not much more than CONFIDENCE to overcome.
You might, then, ask: “From whence do we acquire said confidence?”
In the past 48 hours, I have attended 2 polar opposite presentations, the first of which would be a classic example of FAIL . . . and the other ranks SUPERB.
Andy Bailey with PetraCoach.com was the SUPERB presenter.
This got me thinking.
How/Why could the first one be SO poor and the other so magnificent?
Both presenters are experts in their fields – Athletic coach and Business Coach – and both are highly intelligent and successful.
I do a LOT of presenting to groups small and large, so I started thinking about those times when I NAILED the presentation . . . and those when I FAILED.
What were the ingredients in the great ones that were missing in the fails?
IN this post, we’ll assume the given that you the presenter have a relatively deep knowledge of the topic. Without this fundamental knowledge, confidence is difficult to come by because it becomes a power point scripted monologue which is, at best, boring to the audience . . . and at worst, a fiasco when someone in the audience goes “off script” with a question about going deeper into a concept which . . . you don’t know . . . Credibility plunges.
So let’s fix this before we do any more presentations.
The Pareto Principle (80/20 rule) applies in all things. If your presentation will be 20 minutes long . . . spend 80 minutes to do the first 4 tips.
Do that, and #5, your performance, will be NAIL and not FAIL.
- Know your audience – Research who will be in the room, so you can speak them and not at them. It helps if you can determine their likely personality profile, so you can tailor the tenor and pace of your presentation to be more appealing to the majority of the audience.
- Know the intended result – Why did they decided to come to your presentation? What about the theme/topic caused them to show up to hear your presentation. What are their likely expectations, and what’s in it for them to spend this time with you? This is NOT about YOU . . . It’s about THEM, and they won’t be happy at the end if they don’t get what they came for.
- Prepare – If you’re using Power Point, video etc, make absolutely positively SURE that your technology will work at the venue. Less is more with respect to the Power Point – Fewer words and bullets and more images. Prepare yourself, so you look presentable. Dress appropriately for the audience – Be well rested – Arrive early (before ANYONE else), so you can be in the space for a while before anyone shows up – Remove yourself from the room 10 minutes prior to starting the presentation to poise and centre yourself mentally.
- Practice – do the entire presention 4 times from start to finish – ideally with an audience (Friend, Associate, Accountability partner). Get the timing and the pace right and test all of the technology . . . Welcome feedback from your test audience and make adjustments.
- Perform – When you have done the first 4, this is the FUN part . . . ENJOY!
Do these first 4 steps, and what you get is a level of confidence that eradicates that innate fear of public speaking.
Doesn’t matter who you are or what you do for a living, tackling this fear of Public Speaking is worth doing.
After all, you might be called upon to propose a toast at a wedding, speak at a funeral, or run for public office.
I am confident that you can find your confidence to speak confidently in public.
Let me know the next time you’re speaking . . . I’d love to be in your audience.