I have an awesome opportunity that just came up. I want you to speak in front of the whole organisation about that new project you have been working on”.
“Sure John, that sounds great!”, Bill replied.
At that point Bills internal dialogue starts up like a train getting ready to leave the station. The negative self talk is ready to take off, the feelings in his stomach are like knots slowly twisting tighter and tighter. His temperature starts to rise and as if time stood still he can feel the first drop of sweat form on his forehead.
Only Bill this time around is aware of these feelings and is viewing them from the 3rd person. Hes able to disassociate from the feelings and see them for what they are just an energy in motion. He reassures himself that he has felt these feelings before and has the toolkit to deliver his presentation with confidence and showcase his hard work.
Bill goes back to his toolkit and utilizes the 3 tools to overcome your fear of presenting that he knows work:
Keep your presentation conversational, this way it feels more natural for you and the audience. Remember you are sharing something with the audience and you are challenging them to challenge you in order to have a conversation.
Ask questions that engage the audience these can be a mix of rhetorical questions and thought provoking questions. What can i do different in this project? Do you see any challenges ?
Connect with the audience before you present. You can do this by meeting the attendees before they sit down, ask them what do they want to learn today? This allows you to see some familiar faces when you get up to present and again makes it feel more conversational. You can then mention that Cristina mentioned this earlier this helps build rapport.
Visualize your presentation being a success. You can heighten this visual representation by arriving to the room the day before, feel what it’s like to stand on the stage, the warmth in the room and the lights in your face. Sometimes you have to see it, but you also have to feel it. Too often people skip rehearsals, for Bill and many others its one the most important components to a successful presentation.
Once you are coming close to your presentation become present orientated. Become aware of the room, your breathing, your posture and the tone in your voice. Practice your presentation out loud, focus on breathing deeper.
Bill now knows that presentations are just another feedback loop and hes excited and curious to learn, how he can improve on his project and his communication.