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Overcome Your Fear of Presenting (3 Steps Proven To Work)

James thought leader in product marketing and product management leader

James Luizzi

December 5, 2015
guy jumping in the waves

Listen, I know people hate presenting, to the point where it is one of the top 5 most feared things and often number ONE! There is a higher number of people afraid of public speaking then afraid of heights, and I don’t know about you, but there seems to be a lot more danger from the roof a building then the front of a conference room.  I get it, I truly do, but learning how to present the right way will not only increase your impact with your audience but also help decrease that fear.

I remember when I was young, about 12 or 13, I had a friend name Ziggy, he had a house on a large lake in my town. He and his brother would always jump off this rock into the lake.  I was a wimp at the time (still am) and never wanted to jump. The longer I stood atop that rock without jumping the more nervous I got.   Then one day Ziggy showed me exactly how to jump off the rock, to push off, always land feet first and swim to the left once I landed.  Then, due to peer pressure, and some additional comfort on how to do it and not die, I decided to jump in.  While I was excited that I did it, and made it out alive, I really didn’t want to do it again, but I did. Each time I felt better and better about doing it, and had less fear.  Presenting can be the same way, we are told to just jump, no directions or guidance, but once you have the directions, and jump a few times, you will get better and better at it.  You may never love it, and you don’t need too, but you do need to do it, and do it well to leave a lasting impact

Lets look at some of the times we may need to present ourselves….

  • Business Cases proposals to executives for product investments
  • Cross-Functional Team Meetings
  • Training of Sales…or Operations
  • Selling an idea to your Boss
  • Selling an idea to your team
  • Convincing and persuading a large team to follow you

The list goes on and on!  Lets face it, we need to be good at presenting, we need to have passion, and we need to be relevant and memorable.  We can spend years on a product and get it ready to go, but if we can’t get others to share in that excitement then it could mean the death of our product or idea.

Here are some quick tips:

Physical – Controlling your physical being, such as your eye contact, hand gestures, body movement, voice, will:

  • Minimize distractions to the audience
  • Help to emphasis points
  • Create memorable pictures in the audiences minds,
  • Keep your nerves calm while presenting in any group

Psyche – Utilizing a template or standard guide will help with the mental aspect of your presentation for both yourself and your audience by:

  • Helping to organize your point in a clear concise manor
  • Being direct, cutting out the unnecessary information that gets in the way
  • Have your audience remember all the key points of your presentation (remember your audience can be one person or a crowd)
  • Minimize fear of remembering what to say, and calm your mind

Passion: This piece is one of the most important aspects, you must have passion for your topic and at the same time be yourself and put your own personal stamp on what you are saying this will:

two woman strategizing
  • Build others excitement – it’s contagious!
  • Show you care about your product, service or conversation topic
  • Help people connect to you and build credibility and trust

So no matter what your situation, with your boss, with your team, with executives, heck even at home with your spouse, how you present your thoughts and ideas are critical.  Become more memorable, get consensus and agreement more often, gain credibility and leave a lasting impact on others by becoming a master presenter.

Please let me know your thoughts, and contact me directly to hear more about attending a workshop that focuses on all 3 of these topics, in a safe and fun environment at jluizzi@sequentlearning.com

About The Author

James thought leader in product marketing and product management leader

James Luizzi

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