Skillset New Zealand Blog

Ideas to help your team develop personally and professionally.

This is for those who are seriously affected by the symptoms of public speaking, presentations or simply speaking up at a meeting.  Sweaty brow? Heart thumping in your throat? Thoughts like I don't belong here ?  It can be painful and debilitating. Worse, the audience can see and hear that your main message is not the topic, it's I don't want to be here speaking to you. You get sympathy, but no credibility. 

Is that you? Stay with me.

You can't cancel fear directly. What you can do is overwhelm it with something way more powerful and productive.  But first a quick question; do you want the audience to get the message in your topic?  You do?  You really do? Good, because there lies the solution:

Make it obvious to the audience that you want them to get the message in your topic.

Obvious? How?

Firm up your voice. Be more emphatic, and - above all - look around at people more urgently. You might raise your eyebrows a little. You might give little nods here and there. Your expression makes it obvious that your top priority right now is your message and them. It's not about you.  Yes, it's an act at first - an act that quickly becomes real.

But why does that work for nervousness? 

Because you are redirecting your energy.  Instead of feeding your fear, you're now feeding the audience. In my workshops, trainees who put that tip into practice for just two minutes say with some surprise, That was good, I felt in control. Some, having tasted that result, never look back. They just go on getting better, and their now undernourished fear fades away.

Could that be you?

Interested in a workshop on presentation skills for your team?