Presentation Skills – Top Tips to Help Settle Your Nerves
Have you ever heard people say
“I can’t give presentations …”, or “I’m no good at standing in front of an audience …”
Let’s face it; with that mind-set those people are already sabotaging their chances of success. We all have to speak in public from time to time, but why is it that some people seem very comfortable on their feet while others could almost faint at the mere thought?
Effectively delivering presentation doesn’t come naturally to everyone. Some people have no problem presenting to groups of 4 right up into the hundreds. What do they have that others don’t? Quite honestly it’s just confidence, knowledge of their subject and a well prepared and practiced presentation that makes all the difference.
I always find butterflies are actually a good thing when it comes to delivering a presentation or pitch. If you have butterflies it means that you care about what you’re about to deliver – you’ve already got the edge and the right state of mind to make a really good impression. We all get nerves sometimes, even the most experienced of presenters do. When I get them I find that it helps to introduce myself and then let the group introduce themselves. This takes the focus off me and gives me time to settle into my pace without every eye in the room being on me so to speak.
I also find that this approach brings the attendees along with you and starts the session off on more of a discussion. In other words you’re engaging with your audience and not talking at them. Of course, this doesn’t work in every situation. Other ideas to break the ice could be to start with an open discussion of challenges around the topic that you’re focussing on or to invite one or two people to answer a question to kick things off.
I hope this little tip helps those of you that hate the thought of standing up in front of a room full of people. It’s definitely not easy and takes practice, practice, practice to become confidence and comfortable in the lime light.