The most important word in public speaking and presenting is: W – Why

Public speaking and presenting at work isn’t easy by any stretch of the imagination. Most people would rather do anything else than stand to speak in front of the public, clients or colleagues. If it happens to be something that you enjoy and look forward to, then consider yourself extremely lucky.

The National Social Anxiety Centre goes as far to suggest that as many as 73% of us consider it a significant challenge. At Mindful Presenter we believe that one of the most important questions we need to ask ourselves to help overcome this anxiety is ‘Why’.

Whether you are presenting to your team, the board of directors or to potential clients, the very first question you always need to ask is ‘Why’.

Why am I planning speak?

Why does my presentation matter to my audience?

A lack of clarity is one of the many underlying reasons for so much of our anxiety when we present. This might relate to:

– The point of our presentation

– What we hope to achieve

– What’s really in it for our audience

– What our message is

– How we want them to feel

In the absence of that level of clarity, our presentation is little more than personal ego or routine.

The moment we have absolute focus, clarity and conviction as to why our presentation will make a significant difference to our audience, everything changes.

What to do to find your WHY?

– Take a long slow walk and ask yourself those two vitally important questions:

 Why am I planning speak? Why does what I have to say matter to my audience?

If you can’t find a really good answer to both questions, have the courage to decline the opportunity.

– Put yourself in your audience’s shoes. In other words, ask yourself the following questions:

What difference will this make to their professional or personal life?

Could they read this for themselves just as easily?

Is this really about my audience or is it more about me?

From our experience of working with talented professionals, we think you will find that having the answers to these questions will go a long way to easing your fears of standing to speak.

Whilst this article focuses on those who feel anxious when presenting, the questions raised are equally critical to all of us regardless of experience or confidence.

Every speaker needs a very clear answer to why their presentation matters.

I really hope you enjoyed this post. If you did, please feel free to share it through your preferred social media channels below and subscribe to our mailing list so you won’t miss any future posts.

If this article has inspired you to learn a little more about how effective your presentation skills are you may want to take a look at our presentation training and presentation coaching pages to see how we may be able to help you. You will also find a great deal of really helpful ‘free’ information in our Learning Centre.

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