How can I get over stage fright or nervousness? -Presentation Training

I’d  like  to  be  able  to  tell  you  something  comforting— “It’s going to be fine!” or “You’ll do great if you just  believe in yourself!” I wish I could tell you to just chat  positive  affirmations  or  picture  your  audience  naked  or  visualize a standing ovation. The problem is that none of  those things will prevent you from giving a lousy presentation, so they shouldn’t help ease your anxiety either.

The  reality  is  that  you  have  good  reason  to  be  nervous.  You  are  probably  nervous  because  at  some  point  in  your  life,  you’ve  given  a  lousy  presentation.  And  I’m  sure you’ve attended a lot of lousy presentations. So, you  know that chances are you’re going to bomb. Okay, okay,  that  may  have  been  a  little  harsh.  But  I  didn’t  say  it  to  be  mean-spirited  or  to  ruin  your  confidence.  The  fact  is  that most speakers bore their audiences.

Visualizing your audience without any clothing on might actually make you more nervous.

Most  speakers  communicate  absolutely  nothing  (and  by  communicate,  I  mean  give the audience something to remember). So, at the risk  of freaking you out, I really think that you and most presenters should be MORE nervous, not less nervous, when  you speak.

But  I  also  recognize  that  being  excessively  nervous  can  really  ruin  your  shot  at  giving  a  great  presentation.  I’m going to help you deal with it on a deeper level and in an audience-oriented way. In fact, that’s what this book  is designed to do. What, then, is the secret to getting over  your fear of public speaking?

The Secret:
Preparation, preparation, preparation—always with your audience in mind.
•   First, create an interesting presentation designed to  give your audience what they want and need.
•   Second, understand what your audience is seeing by  recording  yourself  giving  the  presentation,  watch- ing it, adjusting your delivery or content, and then  recording it again.
•   Third, get feedback from real people by giving the  presentation  to  a  few  willing  colleagues  and  ask- ing them specific questions about your content and  delivery.
•   Fourth,  prepare  for  your  specific  audience  by  asking them questions before you start.
•   Fifth, prepare for your next presentation by asking  your audience how you did.

While  I  do  want  you  to  take  every  speaking  opportunity  very  seriously—and  prepare  accordingly—I  don’t  want you to feel fear. I want you to look at every presentation as a chance to learn to have fun, and the surest way  to make that happen is to feel secure in your readiness.

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