Stop Presentation Stress – Once and For All

Cope with Nerves

Stressed out about business presentations? Would you rather stay in bed, hide in the bathroom or find an excuse to leave work early than get up in front of a group?

For anyone looking for strategies to reduce fear of public speaking, a new webinar training series will help you calm down, reduce stress and handle presentations like a pro.

As a professional, it’s your job to give presentations. Most likely, all day – every day. Most people find that as they advance in their career, so does the number of presentations on their calendar.

But there is always the fear that shows up before getting up on stage. It may show up as nervous jitters, dry throat, upset stomach, nausea or sweaty palms.

Here are 7 tips to conquer nervous stress about presenting and public speaking – so you can rise in your career without having your blood pressure rise too!

1. Picture Success
Imagine vividly the positive outcomes of your speech. This could be applause, approval of your proposal, or winning a big contract. Perhaps your boss will finally notice how much value you bring to the team. Whatever motivates you and gives you a warm happy feeling – picture that!

2. Rename Nervous Energy
Feeling nervous can be a good thing. It’s a sign of positive excitement and adrenaline. This is necessary for peak performance. Rename the symptoms as a good sign and you’re much more likely to accept the sensations and move forward.

3. Hold Onto a Marker
The first moments of presenting can be when you feel most uncertain. Hold onto a marker – and head to a flipchart or whiteboard. Use your marker to steady yourself. This is also a great way to plan for specific steps and visual maps to structure your talk.

4. Pause
Pause before you speak. This makes you look, well, presidential. Many executives, politicians and leaders know this trick. Pause. It could be the most important thing you do.

While you’re gathering yourself, your audience is also focusing on you. Command the space during your pause. Then, you’ll feel much more ready to move ahead.

5. Breathe Slowly
Slow down your breath. Some people find that counting inhalations and exhalations is an effective way to slow down and calm down. Experiment to find your own comfort zone.

6. Structure Your Story
A clear roadmap for your presentation is a great stress reducer. Once you know what you’re going to say, do and draw, it’s a lot easier to handle the amount of time you have in front of a group. If you aren’t 100% sure how to structure a compelling story, take a professional training webinar to find out.

7. Review What Worked
After every presentation, ask yourself a single question: “What worked?” This will help you build a set of personal best practices. Instead of trying to remember a complicated set of expert rules, you’ll have your own private collection of what works for you.

Presenting in front of groups is a part of professional life. By learning techniques and tips to get comfortable you are positioning yourself for career success.

Just like many parts of professional life, measurement is a terrific motivator. Learn the tricks of the trade by recording your own progress in overcoming stress. Simple ways to increase measurement include tracking:

1. How many presentations are you giving a week?
2. What techniques are helping you reduce stress?
3. How many presentation training webinars are you attending?
4. What best practices work best for you?
5. How often are you getting expert feedback from a coach?

See how this works? And here’s the best news: A small amount of learning, tracking and personal feedback has a big impact!

Negotiating – Recognizing a “No Win”

While I firmly believe that “everything in life is negotiable”, I would have to admit that there are some situations that are just plain “no win.” To illustrate this point, let me describe a situation that arises in my home periodically, and one that I certainly do not look forward to or enjoy. It just doesn’t seem to follow any rules, or any of the lessons I’ve learned at the negotiating table. In fact, the situation is one, where I hate to admit it, but I am still at a loss to negotiate successfully. This is a negotiation that I refer to as “damned if you do; damned if you don’t!”

I’ve known my wife for almost forty years, and every time she tells me that she is going to a new hair stylist or that she is going to try a new hair style, I feel like running away from home. It is the one situation that I have determined has no correct answer and is non-negotiable.

Here’s what happens. My wife goes out and gets a new hairstyle. She cannot wait to return home and ask me the dreaded question, “Honey, how do you like my new hairdo?”

Think about it for a minute. There is no correct answer to that question. You may or may not take the time to look up from the sports channel you are watching on TV and say something like, “Wow, I really like that” or “You look terrific!” The response you’ll probably get will be something like, “What was wrong with my old hairstyle?” Maybe you’ll even get speech number 23 which goes something like, “Well, if my old hairstyle was so bad, why didn’t you say something before?”

On the other hand, if you take a minute to focus on the new hairstyle before committing to a well thought out compliment, it’s likely to be interpreted as a loss for words. And, that translates to “You really hate it don’t you?”

In my mind, the question, “Honey, how do you like my new hairdo?” is a “no win” negotiation for men. Fortunately for me, it has become somewhat of a joke in our household. Now when my wife goes out to get her hair done, I usually just run in the closet and hide just before she arrives home.

Lesson learned: While everything in life may be negotiable, there are some “no win” situations that you need to recognize before you get in too deep.

6 Stages To Better Presentations

Whether you are making a presentation, to an audience of one, twenty, fifty, one hundred, or thousands, wouldn’t you want to give the best, possible ones, in order to articulate your message, effectively, and in the most inspiring, motivating manner? Every day, whether we recognize and realize it, or not, we are presenting ourselves, in some meaningful way. This article, therefore, will attempt to, briefly, consider, examine, review, and discuss, the six stages of giving the best possible presentation, in order, to better, make our central points, while inspiring and motivating others, to care more, about, whatever we are presenting.

1. Open/ welcome: You will only get one chance to make a first impression. If your audience isn’t welcomed, and you don’t entice them, interest them, and show, immediately, you will benefit them, from listening and paying attention, your possibilities for giving a meaningful presentation, may be lost, before you, really, even, begin! Be welcoming, friendly, and show, your objective, is to make, your time, spent together, valuable and meaningful! Let them know, what you, will be discussing, and how it might benefit them.

2. Let them know what to expect!: Using some sort of audio – visual, and/ or presentation tool, present your agenda, and, the rules/ guidelines (or what many refer to, as the housekeeping matters). Indicate, approximately, when you will have breaks, and the general topics, for each component of this event.

3. Interactive: The more, the presenter, gets his audience involved, the better, the event will go! Interactive presenting means, truly, involving audience members, for many reasons. Doing so, makes others, pay more attention, connected, and, studies prove, learn the materials, involved! It’s, obviously, far more challenging, for an attendee, to become disengaged, when, you use this approach!

4. Organized/ focus: Learn, as much as possible, about your audience, so you can make your talk, more appealing, and relevant, to them! Proceed, in a clear – cut, focused, organized manner, so, it is easier for others, to pay keen attention, and, thus, learn more effectively, and thoroughly.

5. Crux of matter/ points: From the onset, provide an over – view, so others, know and understand, the crux of the matter, and, proceed, in a point – by – point manner, so, they become more capable of knowing, the difference between the most meaningful information, and lesser items. Clearly demonstrate, how much, you appreciate and cherish/ value, their time!

6. Grand finale: Always, leave them, wanting more, while feeling, their time, was well spent! Sum up, the main points, and, answer questions, address concerns, and hopefully, you will have given a great presentation.

True leaders develop the skills, abilities, aptitude, and attitude, which makes them better, and more effective. How one presents his message, is an important aspect of quality leadership!