Everyone has at least one fear, some people have many, and that’s ok. Doctors say if you understand your fears and work to overcome them, they’re not harmful.
Some of the most common fears are:
- Acrophobia: fear of heights.
- Pteromerhanophobia: fear of flying.
- Claustrophobia: fear of encloseed spaces.
- Ophidiophobia: fear of snakes.
And we think every child has this one: Trypanophobia, the fear of needles.
But the most common fear in people is Glossophobia, the fear of public speaking.
If you’re not accustomed to giving presentations on front of people it is not strange at all for you to have some apprehension about doing it. But there is hope!
Just prepare, and practice. Like everything else in life, repetition breeds success.
Here are some tips for building your confidence as you get ready to deliver a presentation.
- Successful presenters have a clear sense of the purpose of their presentation. They know what their goal is and they explain that goal to the audience right at the start. Making a concise outline of the presentation and having it in front of you at all times is essential.
- Successful presenters do a thorough homework about their audience. Understanding who you will be speaking to is a good step to feeling comfortable with them. If they have common interests, learn about that subject and use it as an ice-breaker so they feel comfortable with you.
- Successful presenters appear comfortable with their sense of being. Practice and use smooth gestures with your arms and hands. And move around. You don’t want to trap yourself, hands gripping a podium. You’ll likely be using a PowerPoint on a screen or a whiteboard, so practice pointing to each portion as you calmly explain what each point means.
- Successful presenters rehearse many times and are prepared. Arrive at the presentation site at least one hour prior to the start. Set everything and do a few run-throughs in front of empty chairs. Once again, repetition breeds success.
Finally, remember it’s normal to be nervous. It’s how you handle it. Tell your audience you feel a little nervous because they’ll understand. They’ll probably laugh if you make a little joke about it. “I practiced this presentation in front of my 2 year old daughter 25 times so I wouldn’t be nervous, but I don’t think she got it.” You’ll laugh, the audience will laugh, and the presentation will go very well.
“I think it’s healthy for a person to be nervous. It means you care – that you work hard and want to give a great performance. You just have to channel that nervous energy into the show.” Beyonce Knowles
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