Our presentation courses are planned to significantly improve presentation skills to allow delegates of all levels to be able to make powerful presentations. The presentation seminars that we provide are packed full of presentation tips and techniques that demonstrate strategies which will show delegates how to reduce nerves in presentations and to allow them to present confidently when presenting to clients or colleagues. Our presentation skills workshops are designed not just to show delegates how to make a simple presentation: they are designed to show delegates how to create a successful presentation also maximising the applications of PowerPoint to make great presentations. Presentation training will allow delegates to build on their presenting skills; make better presentations; enjoy making presentations and teach delegates how to present successfully. Delegates who have taken our Presentation Courses have expressed how much they enjoyed the variety in our presentation skills training and now feel confident to present in any situation.
Following on from last month’s Principles 1 – 4
KEY PRINCIPLES TO OVERCOMING YOUR ANXIETY, PRINCIPLES 5-8
Use humour and humility to your advantage
Humour is well understood by most of us, so little needs to be said about it here. If being humorous feels comfortable for you, or if it fits your speaking situation, go for it. It usually works, even if you don’t do it perfectly.
By humility, I mean standing up in front of others and sharing some of your own human frailties, weaknesses, and mistakes. We all have weaknesses, you know, and when you stand up in front of others and show that you’re not afraid to admit yours, you create a safe, intimate climate where others can acknowledge their personal shortcomings as well.
Being humble in front of others makes you more credible, more believable, and paradoxically more respected. People can connect with you more easily. You become “one of them” instead of a remote expert who’s head and shoulders above them (which you really aren’t). It also sets a tone of honesty and self-acceptance, which people recognize in themselves as well. Don’t try to do this, however, if it’s not authentic for you. Often, humour and humility can be combined very effectively. Telling humorous stories about yourself, or using your own personal failings to demonstrate some point you are trying to make, can be both entertaining and illuminating.
You Don’t Have to Control the Behaviour of Your Audience
To succeed as a public speaker, you don’t have to control the behaviour of your audience. There are certain things you do need to control–your own thoughts, your preparation, arrangements for audio-visual aids, how the room is laid out–but one thing you don’t have to control is your audience. They will do whatever they do, and whatever they do will usually be “perfect.”
If people are fidgety or restless, don’t try to control this. If someone is talking to a neighbour, or reading the newspaper, or falling asleep, leave them alone. If people look like they aren’t paying attention, refrain from chastising them. Unless someone is being intentionally disruptive, there is very little you need to control.
Thinking you need to change or control other people is a hidden cause of stress in many areas of life. This is just as true for relating to a group as it is for relating to your friends, spouse, children, or other acquaintances.
In General, the More You Prepare, the Worse You Will Do
Preparation is useful for any public appearance. How you prepare, however, and how much time you need to spend are other matters entirely.
Many of the errors in thinking we’ve discussed so far often creep in to people’s strategies for preparation. If you have the wrong focus (i.e., purpose), if you try to do too much, if you want everyone to applaud your every word, if you fear something bad might happen or you might make a minor mistake, then you can easily drive yourself crazy trying to over-prepare your talk. In these instances, the more effort you put in, the worse you probably will do.
On the other hand, if you know your subject well, or if you’ve spoken about it many times before, you may only need a few minutes to prepare sufficiently. All you might need is to remind yourself of the two or three key points you want to make, along with several good examples and supporting facts and . . . BOOM you’re ready to go.
Over-preparation usually means you either don’t know your subject well or you do, but you don’t feel confident about your ability to speak about it in public. In the former instance, you’ll need to do some extra research. In the latter, you’ll need to develop trust in your natural ability to speak successfully. The only way to do this is to put yourself in the spotlight, over and over again.
Go out and solicit opportunities to speak on your subject in public. Offer to speak free or for a small fee, enough to cover your expenses. If you have something of value to tell others, keep getting in front of people and deliver it. In no time at all, you’ll gain confidence. You’ll also begin to respect the natural public speaker/communicator within you.
Your Audience Truly Wants You to Succeed
The last principle to remember is that your audience truly wants you to succeed. Most of them are scared to death of public speaking, just like you. They know the risk of embarrassment, humiliation, and failure you take every time you present yourself in public. They feel for you. They will admire your courage. And they will be on your side, no matter what happens.
This means that most audiences are truly forgiving. While a slip of the tongue or a mistake of any kind might seem a big deal to you, it’s not very meaningful or important to your audience. Their judgements and appraisals will usually be much more lenient than yours. It’s useful to remind yourself of this point, especially when you think you’ve performed poorly.
Finally, keep practising…..
What is the best way to improve your reaction to anxiety when public speaking? Practise. Take every opportunity you are offered to speak in front of groups (large or small); go out and speak in public; take a community college course in public speaking.
If you keep doing it and confronting those nerves you will find the anxious , stressful feeling abate and you will improve your skill and confidence, and not just in public speaking, but in all areas.
Excellent presentation skills give you a platform to demonstrate your sales skills, leadership qualities, communication skills, influencing abilities and promotion potential. Our objective over the two days is to teach you the skills and techniques that will give you both the confidence and competence to enjoy making presentations in all situations. We will be giving action points to sharpen your image; reduce nerves; allow you to appear both confident and competent and increase your credibility in the eyes of colleagues and clients.
PowerPoint presentation skills, Advanced Presentation skills and Presentation skills are three of the courses trained by Total Success Training, a training consultancy specialising in communication training and management skills in London and throughout the UK. Other related courses include sales presentation skills, training the trainer, assertiveness skills, selling skills, negotiation skills and communication skills for managers. Click here if you need more information regarding presentation skills course information or contact Total Success who will be delighted to talk to you via e-mail.
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