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How to Present When You Hate Public Speaking


If you aren’t the type who enjoys being the center of attention, coming up with a sales presentation might seem like a nightmare. The good news is that there are definitely ways around it! Here are my suggestions on how to tackle public speaking when you’re feeling nervous about it.

How to Present When You Hate Public Speaking

  1. Remember to breathe. When people get nervous, it shows. It can also be heard. Their diaphragm constricts and the pitch of their voice becomes a bit higher. They also tend to run out of breath a little sooner. So, breathe. Ideally from your belly. At the very least it will help you relax. At most it will keep you grounded and focused enough to say what you need to say. 
  2. You’re not as unprepared as you think. Remember when you were in school and you were convinced that you had bombed an exam, only to get a high score? Sometimes you don’t accurately assess what your abilities are. That’s something to think about. Chances are you know 50 times more than your audience does on the subject. So, even if everything isn’t perfect, or someone asks you a tough question, it doesn’t mean you’re a failure. You may feel like you’re underplaying, but you’re doing them a favor. Considering how many hours you have put into it, it’s a low bar to clear, which brings me to my next suggestion.
  3. Prepare, prepare, prepare. Sometimes people doubt themselves because they don’t know the material well enough. Although this might seem obvious, the more you study it the better off you’ll be. It will become muscle memory in the same way an athlete knows how to perform an important move instinctively because they’ve done it over and over again while practicing.
  4. There is such a thing as good stress, especially if you care. This is called eustress and can be beneficial in high pressure situations. For example, a neurosurgeon may be nervous on the job; however, it’s also what keep him firing on all cylinders during a surgery. A little anxiety can do you good because it can hone your focus. 
  5. If you have severe anxiety, there’s no problem with seeking help. Being overly anxious about something can be normal, but if it’s overtaking your life there are ways to talk it out with a therapist or in a group setting. When people put the work in, the root of the problem can dissipate as well as your fear.

If sales presentations are going to be a major part of your itinerary, think about its relationship with your career. There are organizations like Toastmasters and Rotary International that are looking for speakers at their breakfast and lunch events. These are non-threatening business people who are a good audience to practice on. And above all, if you can channel your nervousness into excitement about a speaking engagement, that’s the first step to having a powerful and emotional impact on your audience.

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Read more blogs on Sales Success, Sales Presentations, Business Tips, Recession Selling

Posted by Mark Jewell