Most Executives Now Believe That Important Information Flows From The Presentation Confidence: How To Take The Fear Out Of Executive Presentations

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Presentation Confidence: How To Take The Fear Out Of Executive Presentations

We tend to avoid what we fear, so before you hand that presentation off to someone else or try to avoid responsibility altogether, think about what you’d be missing out on. Every presentation in front of colleagues, a boss, an important client is a unique opportunity to show your worth. A successful presentation or briefing can do more to raise your profile and cement the trust of these important relationships than all the hard work you’ve already put into preparing for it.

This is because your audience can see and hear your ideas for them. They can relate the messages to the messenger and get the full measure of their impact. More importantly, they will give credit for those ideas to you, the leader. In short, presentation and briefing skills are key tools that every executive needs to master.

Embrace the presentation opportunities you have by overcoming those fears and letting your expertise shine. Follow these pro tips to help:

Don’t memorize

If you remember (instead of just getting comfortable with your ideas), all you’ll be concentrating on when you give your presentation is remembering who you were. should have said. It will hinder you from being your best, most reliable self. Instead, stay in the moment and give yourself permission to express your key ideas in a way that sounds natural and comfortable to you. Don’t worry about perfection. Your audience is not.

Get ready (the right way)

Reduce your essential ideas to (no more than) three main points. Practice giving them orally. Pay attention to how you convey them naturally, what details you use to explain each, and how you move from one main point to another. There’s simply no substitute for listening to yourself and building muscle memory of how you want your presentation or briefing to flow. (Recording yourself is a great tool for this.) If you write a full screenplay, start practicing with greatly reduced scripts with just bullet points or notes with key points and phrases. It’s much more important to stay connected with your audience than to remember every detail of something you’ve prepared.

Install the vent

Many presenters need help in controlling their fears at the very beginning of the presentation. Once they get into the body of their material, the content of what they’re saying helps them find their stride and get out. If you’re most anxious at the beginning of your presentation, try a different approach. Asking the audience for a moment allows you to subtly shift your focus to the audience and can offer you the breathing space you need to settle. (Of course, the question must be one that you are reasonably sure will elicit the right answer, or a survey with no right or wrong answers to help you score). You can also use a prop or handout to momentarily draw people’s attention to something you’re going to talk about. You can even start with a short video or other visual after the brief introduction.

Choose what suits you

Many executives breathe a sigh of relief when the presentation or briefing is over and they can move on to answering questions. If that’s you, don’t feel constrained by formats. Keep the presentation short and lengthen the qi a. You’ll still need to deliver some key messages about your conclusions, but you can save the details for when your audience signals they want them; by asking questions. Just tell your audience what you’re doing (“I’ve got a quick overview and then I want to jump right into your questions about what that means”). Remember to pitch to your audience first and foremost: what essential information do THEY need?

Treat the symptoms

Fear causes a physical reaction in us, because our brain signals to our body that we are in some danger. Our breathing becomes rapid, our voices may tremble, our palms sweat. These are the ‘symptoms’ that many managers are afraid to show, so have a plan to deal with these reactions. Know that no one can hear what you are thinking and they do not pay attention to your fear. Tell yourself that you will be great, remind yourself of past successes and imagine how good it will feel to hear congratulations afterwards (even if you don’t believe it). Tell yourself: YOU HAVE this! Remember that no one knows what you were supposed to say, so if you forget something, just move on without apologizing. If you forget something, it’s a good time to stop and ask “any questions so far”? Don’t try to push your nerves away, channel them. This is the same energy that will fuel your performance. Use some if you can right before your presentation (brisk walking, deep knee bends, and long, slow deep breaths).

Remember, the more presentations you make, the easier this will be. Don’t avoid talking about your own ideas and your own abilities. Remember how scary things were the first time you tried them, and now you do them with ease. You can build this ‘muscle memory’ of success, one presentation, one briefing at a time!

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