Presenting is part of the role, you’ve done it before, but this time is different.
You have more influence to accomplish in this particular presentation. You feel you know your topic, yet you are still (for some peculiar reason) feeling a familiar discomfort in the pit of your stomach.
Here are some highly valuable tips. Give these a try and see how they help.
If you’re nervous about presenting, it’s possible one of the main concerns you have is what other people think about you. Perhaps about how you look, how you stand, how you come across.
While it may be true that some people will tune into all of that, the facts are, you cannot control the inner dialogue of another person. What you can control however , is your own inner dialogue. And if you are afraid of being judged, please be prepared for this confronting notion. Are you ready? If you are afraid of being judged then it is highly likely you yourself are usually judgmental of others (and not just when they speak). Ouch. I know.
A sure fire way to not fear being judged is to stop judging others. Rather, be in a mode of suggestion and acceptance. After the speech is done, while its great to give feedback, in terms of the just completed speech, it’s too late to apply what you judged. Judging & Critiquing is really only useful in the preparation phase. At the moment of performance, the moment to prepare has passed.
Key message? Judge not. You will be amazed how clear your mind becomes when you no longer judge other leaders, presenters, speakers and trainers. You will feel freer when you speak in-front of a group.
To clarify, what I mean by ‘judgement’ is any inner thoughts that are depreciating about the person, their presence or their message.
It’s all about your base. Have you ever seen a speaker bounce from one side to another? Wiggle or shake from one foot to another? They do it unconsciously? What signal does that send to us in the audience. They are fidgety. They are restless, not present. Perhaps they’d rather be somewhere else?
So the insider secret for this one, is to ground. To ground is to plant your feet, width apart, as if they were concrete on the carpet. To breathe in deeply, to not move around a lot – simply plant. Stay put. As strange as it may feel. Plant.
In planting you create a base for yourself and it’s like you develop a supportive root system beneath your feet. You come across as more anchored and committed to the message you are delivering.
Stay with it, keep your grounding and you will keep your presence around you.
And remember, breathing deeply supports your grounding.
1… Pausing & Pacing….
Even if you’re presenting data, if you can humanize it and enjoy yourself, you will connect with your audience’s eyes more powerfully. Keep it light, smile when relevant, keep it moving and at the same time pause and pace yourself through it.
Ever listened to a middle manager rush through his or her data points? Not connect with the message? That’s what not to do.
The simplest way to remember this is…”it’s just a conversation”.
Pace yourself as if you were in a two way discussion. Allow your audience time and space to answer in their own minds or consider what you pose. This is the difference between their eyes being fixed on you, or glancing at their watch wondering when it will all be over.