Are Your Presentations Powerful? They Can Be! By Sylva Leduc, MEd, MPEC
If you are like most people, you probably don’t like presenting. You might have read somewhere that public speaking is the #1 fear of most people… rated even higher than the fear of dying!
If the thought of public speaking makes you cringe, I have good news. You can deliver confident and powerful presentations!
All it takes is preparation, practice, and a winning mindset. How do I know? The first time I had to present in front of a large group, I thought I was going to faint. Through preparation, practice, and intentionally placing myself in front of opportunities to present, I grew to enjoy speaking in front of large groups. Now, it's one of my favorite ways to connect with people.
Keep in mind that some of the best, most well-known speakers and actors have confessed they don't like presenting. So, when you look at your audience, know you’re in good company because they are probably admiring your courage and want you to be successful.
Also remember your words contribute only about 10% of what is communicated. That leaves 90% to nonverbals. If your body language, expression, and gestures communicate confidence, you will come across as confident.
To be more confident as a public speaker, you must be prepared, practice, and identify (beforehand) instant solutions for distressing when you’re on the podium. With these simple tips and tactics, you’ll be ready in no time, feeling confident, and fully prepared to speak to a group of any size.
* Know your content —identify your key messages and bullet them in order so they tell a clear story.
* Practice delivery of your lines in the mirror until the words flow like water.
* Visualize yourself delivering your presentation. Then see your audience’s reaction. Visualize it over and over until you can see it so clearly you know what color of socks your boss is wearing!
* Identify ways to calm your nerves before you even begin: take deep breaths, or find whatever works for you (e.g., picture everyone in funny pajamas).
* When speaking, be sure to keep your pace s…l...o…w. Many of us tend to speedtalk when presenting. That means often what might feel slow to us sounds just right to the listener.
When you are well prepared you will make your points confidently, answer questions clearly, and start to look forward to your next opportunity to be on stage. If it worked for me, it will work for you!
Sylva Leduc is a Leadership Strategist, executive coach, seasoned facilitator, speaker, published author, and past president of ICF Phoenix. She has twice received the ICF’s Prism Award for her Executive Coaching. Sylva’s coaching certification is from the College of Executive Coaching, where she is also a faculty member, teaches a variety of courses, and mentors new coaches.
Her company, Sage Leadership Strategies, focuses on executive coaching, 360 feedback, onboarding, developing emerging leaders, team programs, retreat facilitation and strategic planning.
Office: 480-515-5511 E-mail: Sylva.Leduc@SageLeaders.com www.SageLeaders.com