This week I conquered my horrific fear of public speaking. I absolutely hate doing presentations especially at work. It wasn't until I took an effective presentations class last semester in my Master's program that I realized I was trippin' over nothing -___-
Speaking in front of a crowd or a room full of people is actually not that bad. I learned that if you are passionate about your message everyone else will be too. When I give presentations at work or for class I always choose a topic about leadership and management because I want to be a boss, and it is something that I am passionate about.
If you are passionate about a particular topic make sure your love shines through your words. The best presentations are the ones that are not memorized or over rehearsed. When you talk about what you love, the presentation will be less brutal.
Here are 5 ways to conquer your fear of public speaking.
1. Have an audience first approach
Before doing a presentation make sure you research your audience and know what their age groups and interests are. You don't want to present a topic about the importance of eating meat and protein to a room full of vegan's and PETA supporters.
2. Practice makes better
Your presentation will not be perfect no matter how many times you practice. However, the more you practice the more comfortable you will feel. I always practice my presentations with someone who is very critical and won't sugar coat my feedback. Get all the brutally honest feedback you can. Also, the more you present, the more confident you will get.
3. Be confident
Telling someone to be confident while giving a speech is like telling someone I'm sorry for your loss. There's nothing you can really do and that's the sad part. It is up to the person to adjust their thoughts and feelings and conquer that imaginary fear inside of them. Being confident is all mental. If you mentally tell yourself that your message is powerful and your audience will learn from it, you will go into the presentation feeling so much more confident. Believe in what you are presenting and let it show through your words.
4. Keep it simple
I hate doing PowerPoint presentations and I've come to realize that the further along I get in my career the more I have to do PowerPoints. Ugh. So since there is no escaping them, I learned that keeping your slides simple will make you feel so much more confident while presenting. Don't use fancy transitions or words swinging across the screen. Use a generic background with very little text. I like to only use images on my slides and do voice over. That way your audience is focusing on you and not the swirly words spinning on the screen behind you.
5. Picture everyone naked
Just kidding don't do that. Unless you want to... I do think that you should picture everyone being on the same level as you. It can be intimidating to present in front of the CEO of your company or someone who is more superior than you. If you picture everyone in the room as simply being a human being (because that's what they are) you will feel much more comfortable. Don't be intimidated by someone's status because at one point they were once in your shoes.
Be the conqueror I know you can be and present like a boss. Your inner confidence will shine through your words and empower everyone in the room if you genuinely believe you are capable to do so. #LiveFearlessly & #UnleashYourself
Share this post with someone who may need help with conquering their fear of public speaking.