presentationpointers
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    Presentation Pointers
    53 Tips for a Dynamic Delivery

    On occasion, your speaking “platform” may be an elevator––when your boss steps on at the 60th floor, turns to you, and says, “So how’s the big project going?” and you have 120 seconds to give a status report before he or she steps off into the lobby.

    On other occasions, you may be standing before a group of 2000 customers at an industry meeting or presenting your annual goals and budget in a small conference before 7 colleagues. Your “platform” in all these situations is both portable and powerful. Any of these speaking opportunities has the potential to create career momentum or mishap for you.

    Presence may be difficult to define, but it is easy to spot. Most people know it when they see it. It is a manner of moving and interacting that commands attention and creates confidence in the speaker and increases credibility for the content.

    Nervousness

    TIP 1: Accept Nervousness as Part of the Process

    Stage fright often begins long before a performer takes the stage. For most of us, the condition sets in the moment we accept an invitation to make a presentation. And generally, the longer we have to anticipate the event, the more prolonged and severe the symptoms.

    The typical person is uncomfortable in a public speaking forum. Neither rank nor personality is a differentiator. In years of coaching on presentation skills, I have had some of the most outstanding executives tell me that they still feel uncomfortable in front of a group—even after hundreds of presentations before employee, stockholder, or industry groups. And even life-of-the-party-type salespeople who give a great presentation sometimes walk away with sweaty palms and knots in their stomachs.

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    At times our fears are rational; sometimes not. We may fear that our subject or information is not quite what the audience expects, needs, or wants. Or we fear that they will attack the quality of our performance or challenge our credentials, asking a question we cannot answer. Or we visualize ourselves making a misstatement or omitting key information. Even if we know our subject well and feel confident about our qualifications to speak, we may fear that we will perform so badly that we will embarrass ourselves. Surely the group will notice our nervousness and our embarrassment.

    If we have no other cause for fear, some of us worry that we won’t have adequate preparation time or that some circumstance beyond our control (such as the audiovisual equipment going berserk) will foul things up.

    If any of these are fears of yours, you are in good company. Even the most famous movie stars, singers, and politicians admit to fear before certain performances. And political and business speakers particularly experience a specific form of anxiety that accompanies presenting a script prepared by someone else to an audience ready to challenge their ideas.

    When you hear someone claim not to be nervous before giving a presentation, you are probably in for a boring talk. Presenters who lack a certain amount of anxiety do not have enough adrenalin flow to push them to peak performance. They are too confident and relaxed to do their best job.

    TIP 2: Use Fear to Push You to a Peak Performance

    The secret to a great presentation is performing despite the nervousness—in fact, making your jitters work for you. Imagine the tension and extra adrenalin pumping through you as catalysts to a great performance.

    Yes, on occasion you may feel that you have lost control of your body. You may experience one or more of the following symptoms: rapid pulse, sweaty palms, dry mouth, buckling knees, twitching muscles, shortness of breath, quivering voice, and queasiness. No matter how nervous you are, however, never tell your audience. If they sense your discomfort, they will worry about you—much like a parent does when a daughter mounts the school stage as Cinderella.

  • About the Author

    Dianna Booher’s extensive and ongoing research and published works in the field of business communication and productivity serve as the foundation for over 40 books on communication skills training . Dianna has received the highest awards in the professional speaking industry, including induction into the CPAE Speaker Hall of Fame®. She is a member of the prestigious Speakers Roundtable. As a result of Dianna's work among top corporations on communication issues, Executive Excellence magazine has recognized Dianna on its list of the Top 100 Thought Leaders in America. Additionally, Successful Meetings magazine named Dianna on its list of 21 Top Speakers for the 21st Century! Dianna has been interviewed by Good Morning America, CNN, CNBC, USA Today, the Washington Post, New York Newsday, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Wall Street Journal Radio, National Public Radio, Bloomberg, Investors Business Daily, Fox Family Network, Reader's Digest, Working Woman, Industry Week, McCall's, Cosmopolitan, Success, Entrepreneur, among other national radio, TV, and newspapers. She holds a master's degree in English from the University of Houston.

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Presentation Pointers

Whether you’re standing before a group of 2000 customers at an industry meeting, presenting your annual goals and budget in a small conference room before 7 colleagues, or in an elevator when your boss steps on at the 60th floor, turns to you, and says, “So how’s the big project going?”, you have the opportunity to convey confidence and credibility to your audience. Your “platform” in all these situations is both portable and powerful. Any of these speaking opportunities has the potential to create career momentum or mishap for you.

In this eBook you will learn how to become confident in all areas of speaking to individuals or groups. You will learn to:

  • Accept nervousness as part of the process.
  • Make your body language consistent with your message.
  • Use vocal variety to increase your authority and credibility.
  • Translate movement and energy into purpose.
  • Involve your audience for greater impact.
  • And much more.

Presence may be difficult to define, but it is easy to spot. Most people know it when they see it. It is a manner of moving and interacting that commands attention and creates confidence in the speaker and increases credibility for the content.

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