Friday, 26 April 2013

Giving a confident presentation

Last week we discussed how to build confidence in children, but what about our own? Many of us find our confidence is put to the greatest test when giving a presentation. 

If you've been asked to give a presentation or speech, perhaps for a wedding, work, end of term show, etc you may feel very daunted by the prospect. However, this doesn’t have to be a daunting experience, but rather an opportunity to entertain, showcase your leadership skills or build your career. Below are some tips to help you give your best possible presentation.

  • Studies have shown our emotions aren’t as visible to others as we think, so don’t panic that everyone will know how nervous you are. Plan ahead so you feel in control of things and to help prevent last minute panics.
  • Be careful not to memorise a speech word for word. If you forget one word or phrase it will throw you off completely and will seem much less authentic too. Instead, write down some key headings and points and practise what you want to say about each. When the time comes, take your headings in to the room with you to jog your memory.
  • Everyone, even the most experienced speakers, gets a little nervous before doing a presentation. Do not let the nerves control you. Believe in yourself. If you go into a presentation believing it will go well, the chances are it will. 
  • Control your body’s nervous response by using slow, deep, calming breaths. 
  • Studies have shown that people like others more if they have seen them before. So try to work the room beforehand and speak to as many people as you can. Getting your face out there will cause the audience to respond to you better. 
  • Children are not the only ones who love stories; adults do too. Use stories and examples to captivate your audience. 
  • Go slow, it will not only help you relax, but will make your audience understand what you are discussing. 
  • End strong. This is the part the audience is most likely to remember, so make it crisp, clean and powerful! 

The old saying, “fear is worse than fear itself” applies to presentations. So just remember that it is very unlikely to go as bad as you may think. Believe in your capabilities and the audience will follow suit. Good Luck!

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