Presentation Presence: The number one skill you need to be successful

by Marsha Petrie Sue

How do you feel about your ability to speak capably and confidently at the front of the room, in a meeting, or presenting in any circumstance? How about those high stake talks or speeches?  Feel confident and proud of your results?

If not, here is a list of distractions for your awareness.  Knowing you need help and getting help are two different actions.

presentation skills nervousnessAny of these get in your way?

  • Nervousness
  • Reading your speech
  • Not connecting with the audience
  • Inability to handle disruptive people
  • When writing a speech, not knowing how to start
  • Uncomfortable standing without a Lectern
  • No idea how to introduce yourself
  • Fidgeting because you have no clue what to do with your hands
  • Inability to have the group take action on your information
  • Using humor

Tackling nervousness is typically the number one request I have when helping people polish their platform skill. What are you saying to yourself? Is it positive or negative? Are you beating yourself up?

Presentation SkillsTip for nervousness: Calm yourself from the inside. Breathe deeply to push the oxygen to your brain. Breath in to the count of four, hold your breath to the count of four, exhale on the count of four, and pause for the count of four. Do this a couple times.  While you are doing this diaphragmatic breathing, stop the negative talk and replace it with a little ditty, a prayer, mantra or anything!  I say, “I’m glad I’m here. I’m glad you’re here. I care about you. I know what I know.” Thanks to Dorothy Sarnoff for those words. And SMILE! It is a natural relaxant and sends endorphins into your body.

Tip for reading your speech: Practice. Practice. Practice. Put your key words and bullet points on index cards if not using a comfort monitor (TelAPrompter). Or if you must write it out and read it, be conversational.  This again takes practice so you don’t sound dull and boring. I can guarantee people will be nodding off within the first two or three read sentences. If there is a part of your presentation that you need to read, such as statistics, data, policy, or a specific quote, tell the audience what you are going to do. And remember: When you read, you lose the connection with the audience.

We will be covering the remainder of the issues in up and coming newsletters. So stay posted.  Send this on to friends. And if you want more, email me at and I’ll send you an audio download on Presentation Skills.

Need help with your presentations? Do you want to capture every audience every time? Contact me and we will make great changes in a short amount of time!

Cheers, Marsha
Cell: 602 418-1991
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Professional Speaker, Executive Coach, Best Selling Author
Marsha Petrie Sue, MBA

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