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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Here are four ways to "quiet your presentation anxiety"

It can be unnerving for some youngsters to walk to the front of a room, or go up on stage, and make a presentation to twenty or thirty people, forget a few hundred, in the audience. Is there a way to quiet their anxiety? Yes indeed, writes Selena Rezvani on the Forbes website.

Rezvani, who recently had to present a workshop to more than a thousand women around the globe at a "webinar", says she began feeling the pressure as the event neared.

As the registration numbers climbed prior to the event, so did my anxiety. I fussed and fretted and it wasn’t until I found a list I’d jotted down last year that I got my focus back; that list contained four strategies that I’d focused on and upheld during my best presentations.

Rezvani then shares those four strategies:
  • Don’t be self-centered!
  • Find your right rehearsal level
  • Get right to it
  • Think connection, not perfection
These are all excellent tips, which Rezvani elaborates on in her article. Check it out here.
  • UPDATE (September 20, 2013): Nancy Duarte, CEO of Duarte, an American company that specialises in "turning ideas into persuasive presentations", has this important advice to offer:
Let’s clear something up: you, as the presenter or speaker, are not the most important guy/girl in the room.

Just because you’re on a stage or in front of a crowd does not make you the savior everyone has been waiting for. (This applies whether you are addressing a conference of ten thousand or holding a team meeting with three people.)

Recognize that you are Yoda, not Luke.

The most important people in the room are your audience: make them the heroes of your story. Defer to them, because if they don’t engage and believe in your message, you are the one who loses. Without their help, your idea will fail. Become the mentor in their story and whisper guidance in their ear, empowering them to be the agents of change and achieve greatness
.

Read Duarte's post in its entirety here: "Like Yoda You Must Be" (I hope you have watched the Star Wars movies, or know about this cultural phenomenon.)