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Presentation Fear

You've heard it said many times before - the fear of speaking is considered by many as their number one fear, outdistancing death and divorce. There are legendary stories of entertainment superstars who undergo extraordinary episodes of stage fright immediately before they perform...but remember

Nerves Can Help!
It is perfectly natural and healthy to be nervous ahead of a presentation. Nervous energy, when properly harnessed, will enable you to communicate with energy, passion and conviction. Nerves can give you the edge that you need to perform well. However, in order to do so you will need to harness and control your nerves in a positive way.

Techniques for releasing presentation nerves
Relaxation Breathing: Put your hands on you stomach and breathe in, inflating your stomach like a football, counting to three, then breathe out slowly with a longer breathe counting to five, pause and repeat. Remember the object is to take the edge of the nervousness not to become laid back!

Forgetting to breathe is very common, if you breathe in and out as fast as you can for 30 seconds you will begin to feel dizzy and giddy, that is what is happening when you go into a presentation and feel nervous.

Picture the audience reaction after you have finished speaking: see them on their feet, hear the applause and the cheering, feel the warmth of feeling they hold for you, you can almost smell the success as you shake hands with your admiring followers.

Keep imagining your presentation going well

Additional tips for overcoming the fear of public speaking

  • Use involvement techniques (participation)
  • Useparticipants' names and use them.
  • Establish your credibility early by stating your experience, qualifications, successes etc.
  • Use eye contact to establish rapport.
  • Anticipate potential problems and check in advance the facilities and audio visual equipment.
  • Obtain information about the audience in advance
  • Manage your appearance (dress comfortably / appropriately)
  • Use your own style (don't imitate someone else)
  • Assume the audience are on your side
  • Introduce yourself to the group in advance (if possible).
  • Practice your responses to difficult questions

One of the most helpful things I found after being nervous before and during presentations was to be honest and tell my audience that I was nervous, this human approach always worked, helping me and building an incredible rapport. James USB (editorial team)


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