Are you a confident presenter?
Confidence is often cited as one of the most critical factors affecting professionals when it comes to presenting and speaking in public. In fact, it’s one of the biggest hurdles we help people to jump every day at Mindful Presenter.
Regardless of status, experience or knowldege, many professionals want to be more confident presenters.
From our experience, it seems that confidence is largely a state of mind. It’s a state of mind that, with help, we can change if we want to be a more confident presenter.
If you would like to become a more confident presenter the following 6 tips are worth practicing.
Hold in your mind an image of what a confident presenter looks like.
Picture the way they stand, move, breathe and gesture. Pay attention in your mind as to how they own the space they are speaking in. Once you have that image in mind instruct your body to emulate it.
Don’t wait until the day of your presentation to do this. Practice managing your physiology repeatedly while preparing your presentation.
Before you stand to speak find a quiet, safe place and practice this:
– Stand tall and straight with your held held high, feet shoulder or hip width apart.
– Open up your chest.
– Jump up as high as you can 4 times. When you land for the final time, feel how strong and connected you are to the ground beneath you.
– Take a few deep breaths.
– Smile as widely as you can.
– Do a little shadow boxing on the spot.
The moment you then stand to actually speak, before you utter a word, try this:
– Take a moment to breathe
– Bend your knees very slightly, feel your feet connecting to the ground beneath you
– Smile again – don’t be in a rush to speak; take a moment to breathe.
Focus, like imagination, is a faculty of the mind. It can be used very effectively to present with greater confidence.
Before you stand to speak, find a quiet, safe place and practice this:
– Cast your mind back over everything you have achieved so far; don’t play it down, focus on it
– Remind yourself why you are speaking, how much you know and why your message is so important.
– Don’t try to see your audience naked in your mind; see them smiling instead.
– Sit quietly for a few minutes and meditate. If you don’t know how to meditate, check out YouTube, headspace or calm.com
Try picturing the presentation, yourself and your audience exactly as you would like them to be and then feel the difference.
Don’t wait until the day of your presentation to do this. Practice managing your focus repeatedly while preparing your presentation.
Language begins long before the presenter opens their mouth to utter a word.
It’s the dialogue we are having with ourselves in our mind. Stop all of the habitual mental noise that doesn’t help you by consciously making the effort to speak positively to yourself.
Before you stand to speak, find a quiet safe place and practice this:
Check in with what you are telling yourself in your mind. If it’s unhelpful, change it to something more positive:
– I’m going to mess this up,’ to, ‘I have something important to share.’
– ‘I feel so nervous, I’m going to fail,’ to, ‘It’s completely normal to be nervous, it just means I care.’
– ‘What if my mind goes blank,’ to, ‘ I can handle it, I know what I’m talking about and could turn to my notes anyway.’
The starting point for many professionals seeking to be a more confident presenter is to immediately try to fix everything they perceive to be wrong.
That’s understandable of course and we should address our personal challenges. That said, it isn’t always the best place to start.
I have never come across a presenter who doesn’t have at least one core strength, even though he or she may not know it. Our first task is to identify and acknowledge what those strengths are.
Once we have found them we need to harness, develop and use them.
I don’t believe that when we are born and we offer our first cry to the world as the doctor or midwife slaps our bottom, that the louder the cry the more likely they are to say, ‘You certainly have a confident one there Mrs…’
Presenting well is a learned skill. It pays for us to remember how confident we feel with the things we like or are good at. Everyone is good at something and not so good at others. Calling on those things you already know you are good at can go a long way in helping you become a confident presenter.
As much as we would like to, we simply can’t control every outcome. The conscious effort and energy many presenters expend in trying to do so can have an adverse impact on their confidence.
Our job is to mindfully prepare, craft and practice our presentation as best we can. We then surrender and trust that our preparation will serve us well.
If you need help becoming a more confident presenter:
– Book yourself onto a powerful public speaking course.
– Invest in some really good one to one public speaking coaching.
– Get yourself some excellent presentation training
Image: Courtesy of flickr.com
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