There are many kinds of presentations we need to make. To small peer groups, to our bosses, live and online. All demand a lot from us. Some feel more comfortable, some can create pretty bad feelings. What makes the presentations good or bad, is your feelings. Not the presentation itself!
Our fears and perceived earlier failures can easily put us on fight or flee mode. Both bad when we are making a presentation. They make us lose our true authenticity and at the same time we are less able to see how our audience feels. We don’t therefore see the people who enjoy our presentation and don’t get the positive energy from them. Our fear and the emotions raised from that are making our presentations worse, the one thing we would like to avoid.
We don’t have to let our fears lead us. Some people will say to you “you will do great”. For most of us, this is not really solving the situation. Yet there are ways, which make it easy for everybody to succeed in presentation, no matter whom it is given to. It is about leading our mind with emotional intelligence. In order to succeed we need to learn to ride our fear, not to hide it. When we accept that there is something we are afraid of, then we can do something about it. Just letting our brain to stay in stressful alert mode is the worst solution. The following steps will help you to lead yourself and your feelings to making a successful presentation.
What are you really afraid? That you forget something? That someone disagrees with you? That you don’t have enough material? That your voice fails you? That you don’t remember what you were planning to say? That you will make a mistake you have made before? Those are fears most people feel at some point. Some of the biggest stars in sky of music have some fears to the extent, that they truly are sick just before the performance. When you identify what your fear is, then the next thing to work on is to think about what strength of your personality will help you deal with it? We all, absolutely all, have strengths, which we can use to overcome the limitations of our fears. We just need to identify them and then learn how to use them in the best possible way.
The other thing that works for all, is to remember, that there is no such thing as audience. There is only a person you are talking to. Multiplied in number. You have something to share with this person, you have something to give to this person, you might even have something that will make that person more successful. When you think about talking to one person, you enter a mode, where you are every day! After all, you are talking with your family, friends and/or people at work daily. And you are not afraid of those moments.
When you understand and accept, that you can mitigate the power of your fear with your personal strenghts you are moving out from the limiting emotions. When you talk to one person, you will make your presentation to connect with everybody. And, when you understand that you are giving this person a gift, your brain moves to compassion and gratitude. A good example of doing this is making a speech to newly couple at their wedding. There you talk to those two people, others may hear it but they are not the target of your speech.
One of the mistakes people make when they plan their presentations, is that they think that there are all kinds of people who they should please. That is not the case, you are there to share your thoughts and the audience is pretty homogeneous in their interest to hear you. They might not agree with you in everything, but they want to hear your thoughts.
Make your emotional intelligence features to support you. Say your strength would be empathy. Then think of the one person who will benefit of your presentation. Talk to that one person, serve many.
If you are still worried about your presentation, there is a way to help you move forward. That is taking an emotional intelligence assessment and then working with certified practitioner to become free of your fear. Let me help you! Contact me now!
Your partner in making success happen, Kari I. Mattila, emotional intelligence advisor