Presentations are one of the most important skills of the modern world. So, with so much advice on offer, how do we decide what is the best advice to take?
Presentation Skills Training
Good presenters are not born that way. Looking around the infant school playground, you do not see good or bad presenters. Sure there are some personality trends – some people are introverts and some are extroverts. The simple truth is that good presenters have had lots of practice of doing it and most good presenters have been trained to present well. If you want to improve your presentation skills then going on a training class will help.
To someone faced with giving a presentation for the first time it can bring them out in a cold sweat. In fact for many people the fear of public speaking is much higher than the fear of going to the dentist or even death. Presentation anxiety can really hamper some people. This is another area where practice and training can really help.
Presentation nerves affect all but the most seasoned presenters. The build up in tension, most commonly called adrenaline, is actually a build up of testosterone. It can affect most of us with symptoms from bringing out sweats to physically feeling sick. Presentations are known to most speakers as natures natural laxative
Two techniques that I have found to work are:
Try to imagine a very happy time in your life. Close your eyes and imagine that time. What does it fees like, what did you see, what were the sounds that you heard. Now imagine the same feeling when you step down from the podium. I usually do this just before I walk on stage and it has a wonderfully relaxing effect.
Stand up. Imagine that you are about to walk on stage at the start of your presentation. You will probably be feeling rather tense and you may be holding your breath. Unlock your knees, breathe using your tummy, rather than your chest and shake out your arms. You will find that it will be a lot more difficult to feel tense if you concentrate on improving your breathing.
As with any skill – the more you do it, the better your performance will become.