We’ve all had to give presentations in the past. Whether it’s in front of a small or large audience, it can usually be a nerve-wracking experience, especially for those with anxiety. When I had to give presentations early in grade school, I would be scared to say anything wrong and embarrass myself. As the years have gone by, I feel like I have gotten better at delivering speeches, although I still have my fair share of tense, nervous moments.
It’s important to try to maintain a positive attitude before you have to present, although it may be easier said than done. I’ve had fearful thoughts just before presentations, which have resulted in me having poor and slow starts. Taking deep breaths and practicing techniques that help clear your mind of distractions can prove helpful in situations like these.
I always worry I may forget words or sentences during my presentation. This is why preparation is vitally important. You need to practice as much as you can, and even prepare for any potential questions from the audience. Even if you think you can improvise, you never know when preparing beforehand can end up being helpful when it comes to post-speech questions. When you’re confident in the content of your speech, it makes you that much more comfortable when it is time deliver the real thing.
When you’re giving a speech, it’s important to speak clearly so that your audience can hear. It may be hard to enunciate and project your voice, especially when you’re nervous, but keep it in mind when you’re talking. Sometimes, I’ve gotten in that habit of speaking too quickly without even realizing it. Always make sure to slow down so that your words are much easier to hear and understand. I also notice that this has helped me to feel less anxious during my presentations.
Something I want to implement more in my future presentations are gestures. They can really help get across your point, and they also prevent you from looking like a static stick in front of everyone. You don’t want to go overboard with the gestures, but preparing some beforehand for certain parts of your presentation can be beneficial.
In terms of the content of your speech, I’ve always found that a good hook can help engage the audience into your presentation. Whether it is a funny joke or a recounting of a story that others can relate to, a hook can help bring life and energy into the room as you dive deeper into the meat of your speech.
Presentations can be stressful for many people, but hopefully implementing the tips I shared can help you out in being more confident and delivering powerful speeches. If you would like to know the first thing you must think about before your next presentation or speech, visit https://ideas.ted.com/before-your-next-presentation-or-speech-heres-the-first-thing-you-must-think-about/
--BitterSweet Coaching Guest Writer