From project presentations and budget proposals to keynote speeches, a time is going to come in your professional life where you have to give a presentation of some sort. However, public speaking can be an anxiety-inducing nightmare for a large percentage of people.
Giving a speech does not have to be a horrifying experience by any means. With many people citing the fear of failure as one of their top stressors when it comes to presenting, it is possible to alleviate some of this anxiety by analysing your weak points. Below are some of the top reasons why you may not be good at public speaking (yet).
- Not Understanding Your Audience – One of the main reasons why people seem to struggle with presenting is because the’ve not taken the time to really understand who they are speaking to. You could rehearse your speech for days and perfect every little detail, but if you are not building and delivering content that will directly relate to audience members, it’s a waste of time. While preparing to give a presentation, take the time to figure out who will be in attendance and what they are going to expect to learn from you. Develop and prepare content that will make audience members want to engage and build a relationship with you while you’re on the stage, no matter the size of the audience.
- Not Meaning What You’re Saying – If your audience members can tell that you’re not fully invested in your speech material, they’re not going to care about what you’re saying either. Audience members want to feel connected and inspired by your words, so be sure to share a little bit of yourself with your audience. Many speakers are successful with this by relating the topic to something in their personal lives and sharing that with the audience.
- Skipping the Physical Preparation – Proper presentation preparation requires more than just writing and memorising words. Whether you’re presenting to five or 500 people, you must warm up your mind and body before you step out in front of your audience. By doing things like marching in place and practicing deep-breathing exercises backstage, you will oxygenate your blood and actually calm your nerves down before you begin to address your audience.
- Over-Doing the Rehearsing – Everyone has heard that “practice makes perfect,” but too much practice can do more harm than good. By over-rehearsing your speech, you can start to kill off any semblance of enthusiasm and passion in your words. Your delivery will begin to sound dull and audience members will start snoozing. Instead, try to write out your main talking points (or even the full speech if you need the details) and do not memorise it word for word.
Do you struggle with presenting? Would you like to finally make public speaking one of your top skills? By attending our Executive Presentation Skills programme, participants gain the skills and confidence to know that they can present to any audience, at any time. Would you like to learn more? Click here or feel free to contact me: