Public Speaking & PresentationsFor the slightly nervous to the truly terrified
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"It usually takes me more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech." Mark Twain
"There are always three speeches, for every one you actually gave. The one you practiced, the one you gave, and the one you wish you gave." Dale Carnegie
- Do your knees knock at the thought of standing before an audience?
- Do you have to give presentations despite it?
- Do you miss out on opportunities because you avoid public speaking?
1-2-1 training & coaching can help you manage your nerves, gain confidence & even learn to enjoy speaking & presenting
Why you need to present with confidence
In today’s workplace there are ever-growing demands to speak in public & deliver presentations. It may be intrinsic to your role, such as for lecturers/teachers and public relations officers. However, many people who did not expect to have to speak before an audience are now expected to do so, for example:
- at team meetings & to other departments
- to cascade training through their organisation
- to represent their employer at external meetings
- to give presentations to existing & prospective customers
Also in today’s competitive job market, you can expect to have to deliver a presentation when you apply for a job - and not only at senior level – some of my clients who have just graduated from university have had to prepare presentations when applying for their first job.
Performance anxiety & stressThe ability to speak with confidence is a vital asset, whether for work or in social situations, and sometimes there is an overlap, such as at work receptions & parties internally or with customers. Yet many people, regardless of age or seniority, experience performance anxiety and stress whether addressing, 2, 20 or 200 people! Poet, Mike Rosen, sums up pre-speech nerves with humour: "Ladles and jellyspoons! I come before you to stand behind you, and tell you something I know nothing about".
Reducing anxiety, gaining confidence
There are many ways to reduce anxieties around presenting before an audience and here are a few of them.
Your preparation, including researching, writing and the layout of your notes, are crucial. After all, in the words of Benjamin Franklin: “to fail to prepare is to prepare to fail”. The knowledge that you are well prepared and really know your material is half the battle.
Also think carefully about the structure, content and your choice of words. Remember your audience has nothing to refer to; they are reliant upon you to take them on a journey so make sure you keep them with you to the end. Is it logically structured? Are you pitching it at their level? Will they understand the terminology? Is there too much jargon?
Communication is key, so where does the word originate? It comes from the Latin 'communis' meaning 'shared understanding'.
The relationship with your audience is paramount. Many speakers are over-reliant on powerpoint and if the slides can speak for themselves, there is little purpose in having a speaker. So focus on creating a relationship with your audience. Show them you are interested in them, “hook” them into your speech with questions, quotes & brainteasers, ensure your body language is pleasantly confident, be assertive and respectful in answering their questions to you and finish on an upbeat note.
Tip of the day: In particular practise your opening lines. The more familiar and relaxed you feel at the outset, the more likely the rest will fall into place.
Ten top tips to reduce anxiety
- Find out about your audience and pitch your speech at the right level
- Prepare several days in advance to avoid last minute panic
- Set clear objectives & write content to achieve those objectives
- Have a clear structure, easy for you & your listeners to follow
- Practise your speech aloud
- Know your opening lines fluently
- Time it to be sure you don’t over-run
- Write clear, easy to view notes, with bullet points
- Focus on your listeners, not self-consciously on yourself
- Prepare answers in advance for expected questions as well as the worst question you could be asked
Coaching for public speaking and presentations
I work with my clients to enable them to design and deliver confident, engaging speeches and presentations, poviding the opportunity to practise the delivery and giving feedback and guidance on skills and techniques. In the words of a client who initially found speaking and audiences daunting: "You not only helped me over the past few months to overcome areas that were holding me back, but did so in a way I would not have imagined before I sought your help. You gave me confidence from the first session and I never felt I was being judged. I managed to achieve the goals I set at the start and I am extremely grateful"
North London Location
I offer Life Coaching and 1-2-1 Training to clients at my comfortable London office overlooking a tropical garden. The office is near Golders Green & Finchley in North London and is local to North West London including Barnet, Camden, Edgware, Finchley, Hampstead, Hampstead Garden Suburb, Harrow, Hendon, Highgate, Muswell Hill, Pinner, Southgate, Stanmore, St John's Wood and Swiss Cottage. I can also be easily reached from north, south, east and west London via the A406 North Circular Road, Finchley Road and A1000, which runs from Hertfordshire to Oxford Street. Accessible from Borehamwood, Elstree, Hadley, Hertford, Radlett, St. Albans (Hertfordshire). I also offer Life Coaching and Executive Coaching on the telephone.