Overcoming presentation fears
Making a speech or giving a presentation can strike fear into the most confident of us. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about ways to enjoy presenting confidently. Practise the techniques and let presenting fear melt away.
I am afraid of forgetting what I want to say.
It might sound a little old school but it is essential to practise your talk, no matter what style of speech you are making. Our audience members might only be a handful of business colleagues, but subconsciously they will have similar expectations to any audience. They will expect fluency, ease and to be stimulated. Famous actors at the top of their game know their lines by heart before they step onto the stage and you need to give yourself the same level of respect. Engrave those words deep into your memory and stammering and panic will be unable to take hold. Using a mirror, recording or videoing yourself and playing back and rehearsals in front of a kind and honest friend pays fantastic dividends.
I am worried about losing the interest of my audience.
That is understandable when attention spans are short and people do lose the thread, even when the most eloquent speaker holds forth. The way to overcome this problem is straightforward though it may sound a little old-fashioned. Keep what you want to express short and to the point. Remember those who are the most expert in their subject can explain it to anyone. Forget over complication and use concise analogies and explanation. Simplicity is the key that unlocks the interest of the audience.
I want the audience to remember my talk with appreciation.
Whatever kind of talk you are giving, people appreciate honesty and sincerity. So above all, let your authentic self shine through and you can be sure they will remember you warmly. However
ending your talk on an upbeat note is well worth it for subconscious reasons. Directors are notorious for changing the ending of a depressing novel so the film ends happily and the audience leave feeling content and ready to recommend the film. Shakespeare knew those psychological techniques too and named a play, 'Alls Well that Ends Well'. Even your if talk is delivering serious messages, think of a positive and encouraging way to end so people go home uplifted.
Still bothered? If you are still feeling unsure, why not consider some hypnotherapy? A professional hypnotherapist is very familiar with the issues and can tailor sessions to use the subconscious. Eliminating the obstacles that are unique to you can overcome the fears for good. Only a few consultations may be all that is necessary to feel great about that presentation.
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About Marian Barry
Marian Barry is an advanced clinical hypnotherapist practising at the Harley St Hypnotherapy Clinic London and Gt Abington, Cambridge. She has given talks at international conferences around the world specialising in personal change and confidence building. She is a best-selling author of many popular works published by Cambridge University Press.