Giving presentations at work or speaking in large groups can feel nerve-wracking. Especially when you REALLY care about making a good impression.
Luckily, there are ways that can help you feel more relaxed and confident when giving presentations. I want to share 4 tips with you, that I believe are a key to delivering great presentations and growing more confidence in public speaking:
tip 1: preparation
You may have seen this one coming, but I cannot stress enough how important a preparation is. It can include a wide-range of activities, but below I am sharing those that I believe are a must for giving great presentations and gaining more confidence:
Draft a key message that you want to deliver (in your head or best write it down). You can think of it as writing a script. Try to keep it clear, to the point and structured. Keep it simple and imagine you would need to deliver this message to your grandmother. What would you say, so that she would understand?
Practice saying it out loud. Have you ever thought that you knew something well until someone asked you to explain it and suddenly you struggled to find the right words? This is why it's important to practice saying your message out loud before-hand. You will hear if what you are saying makes sense and sounds clear. In addition, saying it a few times will help you gain confidence in delivering your message with more ease, so that you can keep within the time.
Anticipate. Know your audience and 'put yourself in their shoes'. Think of what types of questions they may ask you. Write them down and prepare your answers upfront. The goal is NOT to think of everything, you never can, but thinking ahead will make you feel more relaxed and prepared to answer if those questions come.
tip 2: take a deep breath
When you get nervous, you may have tendency to breath into your lungs, which does not give you enough volume to push out your voice. After a while you may start feeling 'out of breath', sound squeaky or nervous.
You want to sound calm, confident and solid in your voice when speaking. So, what do you need to do instead?
Let me ask you a question - Do you practice yoga or meditate? If so, where do you breathe into? Correct! Into your stomach!
Try it now: Take a deep breath and as you breathe in take the air into your lungs and then down to your stomach. When you breathe out, notice how much more air you were able to catch. You may also notice that you feel more relaxed.
You can do this during your presentation to tap into that source of ‘power’ that comes from your core! Breathing this way will help you stay calm and centred.
tip 3: repetition is the mother of skill
Doing something over and over again (even if it’s uncomfortable at first), will help you build more confidence. I get that you may not have an opportunity to give a presentation every day, but you can consciously start exposing yourself to other situations where you need to speak up. Choose sharing in group meetings, initiate conversations with new people or do other things that bring you out of your comfort zone.
Doing this on a consistent basis will stretch you to become more confident and unstoppable version of yourself.
tip 4: the power of reflection
After the presentation take time to reflect on what went well. Recognise yourself for doing a good job and give yourself 'pat on the shoulder'. Write down at least 5 things you are proud for.
If you feel up to an extra challenge, ask your audience for their feedback. Alternatively, approach a few people whom you trust and ask them what they thought you did well and what you could improve. Keep an open mind and see every experience as a learning opportunity. There is no right or wrong. We are all learning.
bonus tip: secret technique
The most powerful part that works as a mindset-shift is this bonus technique I want to share with you.
Once I applied it, it transformed how I viewed presentations and how I felt when giving them. I felt relaxed, excited and even enjoyed myself while standing in front of an audience (and I can tell you that was a big deal for me in the past).
You can download the FREE guide where I explain it further and introduce 5 simple steps that you can start implementing it today.
Public speaking is a skill that you can learn. In fact, seeing it as a learning process where you keep progressing every time you deliver a presentation is the best way to approach it. Growth mindset will allow you to stay curious, open minded and to grow. I am sure that if you apply the tips I shared above, you will feel more relaxed and confident in your next presentation.
Success! Let me know how these tips worked for you, I would love to hear from you! If this blog post helped you, feel free to share it with friends or colleagues who may benefit from hearing these tips too.