Presentations, 3 Killer Tools for Managing the Fear Factor
Fear of public speaking ranks as the number one fear for the general public, even for experienced business or salespeople, having to deliver an important presentation can be extremely nerve wracking. While there is a wealth of available excellent advice on planning and delivering business presentations. This often fails to help, because it doesn’t directly tackle the individuals fear factor.
If you recall any truly memorable presentations you have attended. You will realise that what you attended was more performance than presentation. The person giving the presentation enjoyed the experience as much as you enjoyed listening.
Business people, who naturally excel at giving presentations, are comfortable with attention. They are fine with the idea of many eyes fixed in their direction. The majority of us are uncomfortable to varying degrees with this very same notion. So when I coach business people to present, this is the first challenge that we need to overcome.
The following are 3 techniques I use to make this happen:
1. Take Away PowerPoint
When I work with someone initially, I do not allow them to use PowerPoint or any other presentation tool. The reason, PP is used as a sort of presentation crutch, something that the person can hide behind. PP can easily be re-introduced at a later stage.
2. Visualisation and Relaxation Exercises
Learning visualisations and relaxation techniques can help to better manage the stress, before and during the presentation. Simple self hypnosis, which often relies on a combination of the two, can also be very useful.
Improv is almost like my secret weapon when helping individuals overcome presentation fear. It works because it gets the person used to “feeling silly” in front of others. You learn to relax and become reactive “in the heat of the moment” There are several variations of improvisations that I use, each with a specific objection.