The Art Of Confident Presenting
Around 75% of people have some level of anxiety with public speaking, even the people who do it regularly, or for a living, and that includes the team at PYP!
It is however essential in many roles and is vital to career enhancement. Presenting offers the opportunity to showcase your expertise, stand out from your colleagues and accelerate in your career.
Firstly the key thing when it comes to public speaking is to know your subject. You are likely to be an expert on the subject you are speaking about which is why you are the one on your feet. Prepare your beginning, your close and a couple of key places in the middle as this will give you the confidence to be more fluid in the gaps.
We would always advocate doing a number of full run through’s to yourself, in the mirror or to a small supportive audience. We often reference the fact that comedians can do as many as 50 warm up shows to make sure that their content is of both the quality and in the right order to ensure a nice flow to the overall delivery.
Also remember, if you miss something that you wanted to cover, but didn’t, don’t worry, the audience likely didn’t notice as they didn’t know you were going to cover it!
Even if you feel you are not an expert, the chances are really high that you know more on the topic than the people you are speaking to and as a result they are keen to hear what you have to say. Once you understand that then just tell them what you know in a way they will be able to understand.
It is also important to understand your objective, are you looking to inform, educate, inspire, motivate, or persuade the list goes on. Again once you understand what you are looking to achieve you are able to tailor your communication and style to that objective.
People who are nervous about speaking, are often much more comfortable answering questions rather than delivering something in a linear fashion. Questions mean they haven’t had the time to prepare something too rigid and as a result they can just draw from their knowledge and retell their experience.
One thing that is often forgotten is that if you have to do speak in front of people, you will have to find a way to make it work for you. This can be certain triggers or support tools that you gain strength or confidence from.
The PYP team have their ways of doing drawing strength and confidence. Steve has cufflinks that have the names and dates of birth of his children. They are always worn when he is feeling the pressure of delivering. Andy does it differently and will spin his wedding ring for comfort if he is feeling nervous before a big pitch or presentation.
It is also the case that the more you do something the more comfortable you will become, but never be complacent. Practice makes perfect!
Look for opportunities to present, speak up in meetings, or adress a small team.