At some point in an individual’s career he or she will be required to make a presentation whether its pitching for a contract, promotion or investment. This presentation may make or mar the individual’s career as it might mean winning that juicy contract, wooing that investor or convincing your boss that you are worthy of that promotion.
Some people are comfortable speaking in public while some seemingly boisterous people once in front of more than two people in a formal environment turn into jelly, sweat profusely and stutter endlessly. If you belong to the latter, then please read on.
The mere fact that you are about to give a presentation means one thing, you are smart so you need to be confident in that ability.
What material are you presenting? Was it prepared by you? Most people fail at public speaking because they are unfamiliar with the material and stutter through. Here are some tips on conquering your public speaking fear.
1.Practice in front of the mirror before the actual presentation day.
2.When you walk into the room, smile and pick friendly faces in the audience you can connect with but if you are still afraid, just look over their heads. They are human beings just like you, not ogres ready to tear you apart.
3. Do not read from the presentation slides. If you plan to read from the slides then you might as well show them the slides only.
4.Keep your presentations under 10-12 minutes and make every minute count, do not waste their time. The average attention span of an individual is estimated to be about 15-20 minutes. Also remember that you are competing for attention with smartphones.
5.Think of your presentation as a journey, start slow, raise the momentum and keep them wanting more.
With practice, it will get better but it is important to remember that you are the only one who can conquer your fear of public speaking and it starts from the mind. Once you win the mind battle, the rest is easy and you may be on the path to giving your own TED talk.