A Fate Worse than Death?
You probably have heard Jerry Seinfeld’s oft-quoted joke:
“According to most studies, people’s number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two. Does that sound right? This means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.”
The accuracy of public speaking being the number one fear nowadays could be questioned. The original study carried out by R. H. Bruskin Associates took place in 1973.
However, for many people, there is no doubt that the fear of public speaking is real and that fear can prevent them making progress in their careers .
Does any of this sound familiar?
- You avoid speaking up at meetings
- You decline the opportunity to give presentations
- You feel you career has stalled because of your inability to speak in front of others
There are steps you can take to help you become more confident when delivering your presentations or speaking out at meetings. Over the next few weeks, my blog posts will share some tips and techniques to help. In this post, I will give you a brief overview of the 3 P’s of delivering a confident presentation.
Sharpen the Axe
Abraham Lincoln said “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe”
Sharpen your axe before the presentation.
Prepare carefully. What is the key message that you want your audience to take away? When you establish that, build your presentation around it.
Practice the material – be familiar with it. Practice your timing. Practice using your slides.
Before you congratulate yourself on delivering your presentation, think about how you can improve the next time. Maybe you can ask a colleague to give you feedback on certain aspects of the presentation. Or maybe you could video your presentation and watch it back later. Watch to see what went well, and where you can improve next time.
Effective public speaking takes practice, so start gradually, notice improvements and build on them.