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iManage#017: Need to Overcome your Fear of Public Speaking? 3 Steps to Success
December 02, 2010

Need to Overcome your Fear of Public Speaking? 3 Steps to Success

When you are due to make a presentation, How do you feel inside? What are your thoughts?

If you say to yourself "This is a great opportunity, I can't wait" - and you mean it - then you probably do not need to read any further.

Not surprisingly, research shows that the fear of public speaking stops many people from taking opportunities to present to others.

If the thought of public speaking fills you with dread, then here are some steps you can take to present with confidence.

Step 1: Get the Sweeping Brush

In the few days before you are due to present, imagine you have a sweeping brush in your brain. If a negative thought pops up, such as "I am not confident enough" .."My mind might go blank" .. "They will see how nervous I am" etc. etc. get the brush and sweep those thoughts away before they take hold.

Replace them with a visual image of yourself, standing in front of an appreciative, impressed audience. The sharper the picture, the better. Hear the applause!

Your brain is like a computer; put in the right information and you will get the result you are looking for.

Step 2: Spend Time in the Bathroom

I am assuming that you have prepared the content of your presentation. Now is the time to get familiar with that mirror in the bathroom.

Practice your introduction until you can say it confidently without notes. Make sure you include a hook - why should the audience listen to you? Ask a question, tell a story, quote a statistic. Tell them what to expect from your presentation, how long it will take, and how you want to handle questions.

Get your presentation off to a good start and the rest will flow, so practice until perfect.

Step 3: Sleep Like a Baby

Nothing boosts your confidence on the day like a good night's sleep beforehand. You will feel refreshed, relaxed and will think better on your feet.

If nervousness is likely to keep you awake, develop a ritual to help you relax. Aim to wind down well before bedtime. Run a hot bath, listen to relaxing music, burn essential oils - whatever does the trick for you.

There are some very good relaxation tapes and apps available - listen to them last thing before you go to sleep to get into a fully relaxed state.

If you do present - and do it well - you are more likely to earn respect and have the ability to influence and inspire others. In addition, your personal confidence will grow, creating spin off benefits in other areas of your life.

Keep that outcome in your mind, as you actively seek out opportunities to present. The more you do it, the easier it will become - and experience the major positive impact both at work and in your personal life.

Join our Second Practical Management Skills Webinar, entitled "How to Present in Public". As a valued member of the iManage Community, you can book one of the limited places in advance of the general public! Click here.. to register!

Best wishes

Ann Halloran

Practical Management Skills

Practical management skills advice for business owners and managers. Get best practice tips on a wide range of topics such as time management, leadership, communication skills, managing change and more.

Content based on 30 years management/consultancy experience gained in a wide range of business sectors.

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