Many people experience some anxiety if they are called upon to deliver a presentation. In fact the fear of public speaking is consistently ranked as one of the top fears held by people around the Western world.
Some anxiety and nervousness can be a positive force, because it energises us into preparing ourselves to face what we perceive as a challenging situation. Without some level of anxiety we may become complacent and fail to invest time in such preparation.
Presenting effectively does not mean that we will be free of all anxiety and nerves – but rather that we feel in control of those nerves. In the following clip, I discuss four ideas for learning how to gain some control over public speaking anxiety, using the memory tag CALM …
- C is for confidence that comes from feeling that you are well prepared
- A for accepting that some anxiety is natural – but to keep the presentation in perspective.
- L for loosen-up and take some deep breaths. Let go of muscle tension in the body and also ensure you have realistic expectations of yourself.
- M is for momentum and the advantage of starting your presentation with a strong opening. Chances are that if you can competently get through the first couple of minutes of your presentation, then your confidence will grow and your momentum established. So try to take some time to rehearse the delivery of your entire presentation at least once before the “real event” – and in particular, rehearse your opening comments several times.
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