that public speaking is the number one human fear.
So if you have ever been or are a bit nervous about
giving presentations in public, realize you are not alone.
Most people have the same problem.
a survey from the Book of Lists, people were asked, “What
are you most afraid of?” Public
speaking was the number one answer.
In fact, fear of death was sixth on the list. In other
words, you are not alone.
we congratulate you on taking the first step to improving
yourself in this area.
talk about the Ten Tips and how they can begin to help you right
No. 1: Eye contact
the majority of people are up in front of a group they start
their physical activity by rapidly scanning the room with their
eyes. They spray the
audience with their vision. Look:
adrenaline is already shooting through your body, you’re
anxious and nervous. Spraying
the room with your “aerosol eyes” simply compounds the
problem. It makes it
worse. Very quickly your brain becomes overwhelmed with all of
this visual input: different faces, different colors, different
clothes, different countenances.
you need to do is find an anchor and to lock in on one
individuals eyes. You
need to slow down, get your bearings. You will then have a
chance to channel your nervous energy.
other words: look at just one person, look at their eyes, speak
to one person at a time. Then
pause, and find the next individual.
Instead of speaking to a group... have a series of
one-on-one conversations with the individual members of the
audience. And if
your eyes aren’t locked, your jaw must be!
No. 2: Gesturing
do you do with your arms, your hands or your feet and the rest
of you body? Typically
men put their hands in their pockets.
We often see the fig leaf position, or the ‘phone
booth’, in which presenters hug themselves with both arms.
will also see people do all kinds of nervous fidgeting with
their hands, with their arms.
They really don’t know what to do.
What we suggest is that you do use your arms and hands,
but that you use gestures to specifically emphasize the things
that you are talking about.
you are speaking about a big opportunity, let’s see how big
that opportunity is. If
you are speaking about an increase, let’s make sure that your
gesture reflects that specific increase by its altitude from the
Use emphatic gestures and use gestures to describe things.
Then when you are not using your arms or there is no need to,
simply allow them to drop naturally to the side into what we
term the neutral position.
No. 3: Inflection and v
you ever been to presentation where the presenter spoke in a
want to increase your volume, and increase your voice
inflection, which means the variance in the pitch or the tone of
your voice. It is
more interesting, more exciting to listen to a presenter that
has passion and feeling in their voice. Speak
to your audience with belief and you will soon see they will
share that belief.
No. 4: Humor and jokes
receive a lot of questions about this. “Should I start with a
joke?” Should I loosen things up with some humor in the
me ask you...How many people do you know who can actually come
into a room full of strangers and pull off a joke?
It is what we call a Break Even / Lose proposition. If
it works you haven’t gained much: if it doesn’t work you can
lose your audience for the entire presentation. It’s risky
a high stakes gamble. We suggest if you like using humor, feel
out your audience first. If
you feel humor might be appropriate, use humor.
But using humor up front can be very, very difficult. You
are at your highest state of nervousness, your audience is
sizing you up and remember first impressions last forever.
Many audiences feel that using humor or jokes in business
signals you are not taking them seriously.
type of humor that is most effective is self‑deprecation.
Make fun of yourself. We are not suggesting you call
yourself an idiot or the audience may say to themselves “He
sure is” and you’ve lost them. Just
don’t take yourself so seriously.
A lot of times we will joke about the fact that our
writing isn’t that good or my ability to draw is awful. Typically
if people have been with us in a two‑day seminar, they
already know that. So
go ahead and make fun of yourself. It
is a safe form of humor to use.
No. 5: Designing visuals
many times have you been to a presentation where the presenter
is literally confused by her own visual?
They look up at the screen and they say, “Well what you
have here is, well, gee, I’m not sure, well what I meant
is…” – what is that presenter doing?
They are essentially saying that they haven’t taken the
time to simplify and become familiar with their own visuals and
now they expect you to look at it and understand it.
point is to keep your visuals simple in design.
You don’t want an unsolved mystery up on the screen.
Make sure that it is very clear and keep in mind that
people read from top to bottom and left to right.
Design your visuals to be read that way.
Make those visuals easy to understand.
Your talk doesn’t need to be simple, but the visuals
you use to cue your audience to hear what you’re saying do.