Saturday, 1 October 2011

Waving A Permanent Farewell To Public Speaking Worries

Even the most competent and experienced of professional presenters admit that their nerves, at times, emerge to the forefront and threaten to get the better of them.  So, if presentations are new to you, or something that you are just tentatively starting to get used to, your public speaking fears are far from irrational.  Yet they are something that you need to learn to control.  Otherwise, you might find that your pre-presentation jitters gather insidious momentum and manifest themselves in unnecessary stress levels that can ultimately impede your performances.

Agreed that words can come easily and that the conquering of public speaking fears can be easier said then done.  Yet you can wave your worries permanent farewells by talking yourself in to a more positive mindset and adopting optimistic behavioral patterns.

1)    Convince Yourself That Presentations Are Nothing Stressful
Give yourself a talking to from the head rather than the heart.  It is estimated that an average human being speaks anywhere between 7,000 to 20,000 words per day, so talking is no more a new phenomenon to you that breathing and eating.  Putting it in to logical perspective, there is no reason why presentations should pose more problems that the conducting of everyday conversations.  The major differences, of course, are that presentations are organised, not spontaneous and delivered to audiences rather a few familiar faces.  The shifting of your mindset from stressed to unstressed cannot be expected to happen overnight.  You can, however, expect to ease yourself from one extreme to the other by concentrating on your messages, rather than getting fraught about how you are going to send them.  This will help to make your style increasingly more conversational and relaxed.

2)    Forget About Public Speaking Perfection
Try not to bog yourself down with preconceptions about what makes presentations perfect.  Is there actually such a thing as perfection, or is it simply in the eyes of the beholders?  You are understandably anxious about not wanting to make a fool of yourself in front on an audience.  Offer yourself consolation in the thought that their main focus is on what you have to say.  They are not there to judge and rate your public speaking aplomb.

3)    Focus On Your Purpose
Amidst the hand wringing and brow wiping that you might endure before delivering presentations, endeavour with all your might not to lose sight of your purpose.  Your ability to build and maintain audience rapport is undeniably important.  Yet your inability to banish the nerves that blight your public speaking engagements can result in the shifting of the onus from clear and concise subject matter to over thinking your delivery techniques.

4)    Believe You Are Good – And Become Good
During your novice experiences of giving presentations, you will pick up many ‘what to do’s’ and ‘what not to do’s’ as part of the natural learning curve.  If you have put all of your background work in before you deliver your presentations publicly, there is little reason for you to be unconfident.  Methodical organisation of your subject matter, and due diligence to practicing, goes hand in hand with the refining of your end delivery.  Your back of office labour is half of your battle won.  When front of stage, you will already be well on your way to winning the war and reaping the applause and rewards.