The brain starts working the minute you are born and never stops until you get to stand up in public!’ Why is it that when you mention oral presentations or standing up in front of people and making a speech, most people go into panic mode? The term ‘public speaking’ sounds frightening conjuring up images of formality, inpersonality and ‘me against them’!
The fact remains that in many of our daily business situations, perhaps in a meeting or in someone’s office, you are required to talk to a small group of people. Smaller presentations are not too intimidating or as frightening as making a presentation in a big venue, but they still are a reflection of you and your professionalism.
Mark Twain said, ‘There are two types of speakers: Those who are nervous and those who are liars!’
Nerves are good and a natural defense mechanism of the body when faced with a potentially threatening situation. So at the outset we must accept that nerves are not a bad reaction. You want to present a good speech. You have prepared and practiced well. And still you are nervous?
HOW TO REDUCE NERVES
Plan and Prepare – There is no short cut, simply stated: Prior Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance of the Person Putting on the Presentation. If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!!
Know the Venue – Have a venue checklist. Check: acoustics, visibility of and space for AVAs, seating space and arrangement, lighting, heating/cooling, availability of breakaway rooms, etc.
Know your Audience – Knowing the demographics of the group will focus your presentation. Arrive early, mix and mingle to give yourself a feeling of connection.
Realise that People Want you to do Well.
Know your Subject Matter – If you are not a subject expert for the level of the audience do not offer to give the presentation.
Learn how to do Relaxation Exercises.
Speak through Mental Blocks.
Pause and Breathe deeply – Pauses are good as they give your audience a break and they allow you a chance to think and collect yourself before continuing. Pauses also assist your audience in emphasizing the moving from one point to the next.
Do not apologise for being nervous – The audience does not know that your are nervous. If you apologise, they will get anxious for you.
Concentrate on Your Message and Your Audience – This takes the focus off yourself and makes you less self-conscious.
Gain Experience – Practice makes perfect!
Look Good – Remember that first impressions are lasting impressions.
Kwelanga Training has offices based in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town and presents public training courses at corporate venues in:
- Johannesburg – Southern Sun Hotel, Katherine Street, Sandton
- Pretoria – Southern Sun Hotel, Arcadia, Pretoria
- Cape Town: Southern Sun Hotel, Newlands
- Durban: Hilton Hotel, North Beach
- Port Elizabeth: Cherry Place, Walmer
On-site training can be presented at any location in Southern Africa, our facilitators will train at your premises
For further information contact:
Tel: +27 11 704 0720
“Shedding Light on Skills Development”