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Public Speaking: 9 Quick Tips to Prepare for a Presentation

Updated: Aug 6, 2021

Approximately 74 percent of the world suffers from speech anxiety and it remains the number one human fear – even higher than fear of death, sickness, heights, or financial problems.

Below are some tips from McLuhan & Davies on how to better prepare for a presentation. Fuse is an accredited facilitator of McLuhan & Davies' business communications workshops.

Stage Fright

One of the top reasons speakers struggle with public speaking anxiety, also known as stage fright, is self-consciousness in front of large groups and audiences. It is very common for individuals to feel comfortable with small groups, but as the audience increases in size so do negative feelings associated with speaking in front of them.

Some of the most common symptoms of public speaking anxiety are:

  • Voice shaking, mumbling, and stuttering

  • Forgetting what you are going to say

  • Speaking for too long or too short

  • Profuse sweating or poor body language

These arise from the most common fears around failure during a presentation including:

  • Technical issues

  • Hecklers in the audience

  • An unengaged or bored audience

  • An audience that misses your point and doesn’t enjoy your presentation

  • People judge you and/or think you are unqualified

  • Someone asks a question during the Q&A that you can’t answer

Fear of Public Speaking

While the fear of public speaking is common, it can also impede your career development. Most professions require some form of public speaking and presentation ability. This may come up as leading a meeting, speaking at a conference, accepting an award, or pitching an idea/product to an investor, client, or manager.

When fear or anxiety play a large role in your presentations, they can prevent you from sharing your ideas and expressing your personality. This hinders your ability to speak up in meetings, keeps you from networking, and limits your ability to teach, influence, and motivate.

Successful Presentation Tips

Successful presentations don’t happen by accident. They are the result of planning, practice, and structure. This includes structuring your thoughts, focusing on your performing skills, and re-purposing your nervousness into positive energy.

Our tips for becoming The Skilled Presenter™:

  • Involve your audience to break barriers

  • Vary your voice dynamic

  • Tell stories

  • Make facts memorable

  • Lighten up with laughter

  • Use gestures with purpose

  • Slow down and plan your presentation using a three-part structure

  • Speak with clarity, brevity and impact®

The more you present, the less nervous you become.

Engage Your Audience

We help professionals engage their audiences and present with impact whether online or in-person – without the nerves. You have the power to present with poise; it comes down to patience, practice, and proficiency.

The Skilled Presenter training will equip you with tips, tools, and structures to reduce the symptoms of stage fright so you can provide your audience with clear, memorable messages.

Register HERE for an upcoming The Skilled Presenter™ workshop

Want more tips for communicating like a leader? Check out other Fuse blogs:

Would you like to customize The Skilled Presenter™ workshop for your team?

Contact Fuse today about workshops that help you drive results!

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