Sometimes the old ‘imagine them in their underwear’ trick just doesn’t cut it. It can feel intimidating giving a presentation in front of a room of colleagues and bosses. Glossophobia, the fear of public speaking, is one of the most common fears around and affects about 75% of Americans. But alas, presentations aren’t going anywhere, and a good presentation of your work (and yourself) can lead to better promotions and bigger paychecks.
This is why learning to curb the fear is so important when it comes to public speaking. Here are a few tips of the trade to give a confident presentation next time you’re up on deck.
Know Your Audience
Is your audience made up of your peers, upper management, or trainees? You’ll want to cater your presentation to your audience. If it’s a training presentation, remember to go slow and explain definitions at the beginning. If it’s your peers, you might want to focus on getting things done as a team. If you’re presenting to management, be sure to explain things in a thorough and confident manner.
Avoid Reading Word for Word
No one enjoys a monotone presentation. While it might be tempting to read off your whole presentation like a script, it’s far more natural to simply write down a few bullet points and explain those bullet points in your own words.
Relax. No, Really
It’s hard to settle those nervous butterflies in the stomach before a presentation, but try your best. Your audience isn’t going to care nor remember when you mispronounced something or forgot what something was called. But they might remember how nervous you were up there. Just relax. And if it truly helps you, you can start your meeting by saying you’re a bit nervous and you’re trying your best. There are plenty of audience members who will sympathize.
Channel Your Role Model
As crazy as it may sound, viewable pictures of female leaders help women give stronger public speeches. In a study done by Swiss researchers, when women gave speeches to a virtual audience, a picture of a female role model had a positive effect on the speakers and the delivery of the speech. Attach a little picture of Susan B. Anthony, Oprah, or any other leader to your podium for a helpful confidence boost.
Public speaking is a conquerable foe, and following these quick tips will help you gain a stronger presentation style in no time.