It’s painful watching someone speak who is filled with anxiety. How are you at controlling your nervousness?
Understand that the audience can tell immediately when you are panicked. This unrest is typically caused by lack of self-confidence, which is then exacerbated by poorly drafted presentations, little or no practice, and not knowing your audience. Think about a nervous speaker you previewed; did their anxiety build confidence in their message? Or were you just hoping they would make it through? Using a planning model helps reduce anxiety because it gives you structure and the knowledge that you are organized and in control.
Construction: Use the following 11-point model to plan your presentation. This model can also be used for planning meetings, writing newsletters and more.
The presentation model can be downloaded from www.ReactorFactorBook.com along with other forms from my latest book.
#1 Close. It may sound strange, but you actually want to start your planning by determining how you’ll end your speech—in other words, what you want the audience to think, do or feel. By doing so, you will save time putting your presentation together.
#2, #3, #4—Key Points. Establish the three key elements of your presentation so that it becomes memorable for the listener. Remember it’s easier for people to remember information in groups of threes.
#5, #6, #7—Details. These sections include your data, examples, and information pertinent to the three issues identified in #2, #3 and #4.
#8, #9, #10—Summary. Develop this part by thinking about the three key points; and, in one sentence, ask yourself—what do you want people to take away from each?
#11—Opening. What is your hook and the sound bite that will move the audience to the edge of their seats? Immediately engaging the audience let’s you see that you are in control by watching their interest in hearing “the rest of the story” therefore reducing your anxiety!
The side benefit of this model is that it will save you about 50% of the time you normally spend writing your speech. Plant the visual of this plan in you head and speaking extemporaneously will be a breeze.
Let me know if I can help you and your team improved this dreaded but essential skill. Remember it separates you from the rest of the nervous Nellie’s out there who hate to present! Having honed communication skills is critical in today’s environment – and yes, platform power is a communication skill you must have. Plus, I have covered this important skill in The Reactor Factor!