Updated: Mar 14
Glossophobia is the fear of public speaking. While some research indicates 98% of professionals admitted to fear of public speaking, 75 % of respondents confirmed a deep fear of it. Are you part of the 98% or 75% group? Additional compelling research illustrates the fear of public speaking impacts salaries by 10%, with 15% of employees' fear inhibiting promotion. A more significant concern is the physiological effects of public speaking. Fear of public speaking may result in:
Increased heart rate
muscle tension and
need to urinate
So, your nerves are valid. You are not alone. I recall as a Graduate school candidate, I learned one fundamental trick to public speaking. That is, "imagine everyone nude."😃 While I cannot state that the picture helped my nerves, it was amusing. Public speaking has become just another scope of work throughout the past 20 years, addressing different audience members, whether students, colleagues, or clients. The reality of public speaking is you cannot please 100% of your audience. There will always be an unhappy % in your audience. The key is to know thy presentation and the objective of the presentation. Be prepared for negative comments or "constructive feedback"; it comes with the territory.
As a business leader, you must practice until your delivery is on point. Failing to deliver can be a costly mistake. To underscore, if you cannot deliver or speak about what you are passionate about, how can your customers see and know the value of your product or service? For your consideration, Consultant Proficiency Resources (CPR) LLC provides a few tips to mitigate anxiety.
1-The best defense against fear is preparation. After all, you know your business inside out. As the presenter, you must know your business plan, marketing plan, current strategy, financial forecast if you are pitching for a grant or angel investor, and the strengths and weaknesses of your product or service. At least two weeks before your presentation, practice in front of your team and rehearse over and over again. Be overprepared rather than underprepared. Also, work on a 30-second elevator pitch. You must be ready !!!!!!
2-As a presenter, you must know thy audience, including the industry. Whether virtual or in-person, knowing your audience is still essential. You also need to clarify the objective for your presentation. For example, is it for a grant award, contract, product placement, etc.?
3-Cultural Diversity-in 21st century, your audience may comprise of representatives from at least 20 different countries. That was the case when I presented Healthcare administration 101 to medical students. Also, if you do not know how to pronounce a name or much about the country of origin, ask. Your audience members are always willing to assist you.
4-Dress to Impress! When you look good, your confidence emanates including virtually. Dressing to impress exudes high confidence including in your delivery. Studies have shown the importance of your footwear if you are presenting in person. If virtually, the importance will be from your neck up, including your smile. So SMIZZEEEEE.
5-Set up early (30mins if in person) or log on at least 15 mins before your presentation (if virtually) to get comfortable. Inhale and slowly let out that breath. Breathing exercises assist with your delivery. Setting up also includes having your water, tissue, pen, handouts, etc., within your reach, unless you have a partner with you to assist during the presentation.
6-Greet early arrivals-setting up early allows you to engage with early arrivals. In this way, you have already established rapport with some audience members. You may ask for their names and make some inquiries about that person(s). So, during your presentation, you will be more comfortable calling on them in return; they will be more focused and have a higher probability of asking questions.
7-Open up your presentation with an icebreaker. Icebreakers are always good. So be prepared to pull a few from your bag of tricks.
8-Make eye contact and keep it light. While some cultures do not make eye contact, eye contact instills a sense of trust in your audience during a presentation on western soil.
9-Q&A-be prepared to take questions. As a professional, you have the opportunity to ask your audience to hold questions at the end or if you have a preference to interact while you are presenting. There is no right or wrong answer at this time. Just be prepared to respond to questions.
10-Thank your audience for their participation. Give out business cards or send them electronically. Customize your power-point. At least one audience member will be interested in your presentation. Please copyright all original documents before disseminating.
Questions and comments are welcome. Please add additional tips based on your entrepreneurial journey in the comment section if you have additional tips. I appreciate your interest in Consultant Proficiency Resources LLC.
Consultant Proficiency Resources, LLC