Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve been talking about giving a speech or making a presentation on my podcast. I really want everyone to have this information, because many people have huge anxiety in this area. You want to be liked, you don’t want to disappoint, so you are afraid that something might go wrong, or you're afraid of receiving negative feedback. What can you do to reduce stress in this area?
I’ve been talking about Stanford research that can be found here. But when it comes to reducing anxiety, HBR has even better information!
According to Harvard Business Review, here are some ways to reduce your presentation-related stress.
- Don’t think much about impressing others. Focus on the ideas that you want to share to others, because you think these might help them. You are there to help people, not to impress people!
- You’re not going to give a perfect talk. Accept it. It’s okay. What’s important is that you make clear points that can help people. If you do that, it is a win!
- Break it down.One thing that causes stress is when speakers feel that they have to be non-stop. You don’t. A little trick that I (Rob) use is to pause and say, “turn to your neighbor and ask what is something they have learned today and how they plan to apply it.” That gives you a break to figure out what’s next!
- Converse, don’t recite. Engage with your audience and talk with them. Facilitate the exchange of ideas by giving people new perspectives.
- A little anxiety is actually good.But you can still choose to relax! Focus on blessing your audience with helpful information.
Save this to reread before you make your next presentation. Forward it to somebody who is preparing a talk right now.
Step up and bring your best!