There are few days left before we fly to Luxembourg. I’ve almost finished one of my presentations, I have to create a second one, and should think about giving a life presentation on the site, so that the power point slides remain only an option B, if there is some actual problem with the product, right before we start.
I am not nervous at all, and actually this makes me nervous. Usually people are nervous, before they have to speak in public, unless the person is Oprah Winfrey or Ewan McGregor or anyone else really used to appear in public.
I am not the one, nor the other, and still, I am calm. Why? (here I should post a link to my previous article)
Let’s disregard the fact, that I believe in what we’ve done for this project and believe, that it will be a huge success. Disregard even the fact, that what we have to present is in a condition to be presented, so it can’t go wrong and let’s talk about the attitude of the presenter.
Since the elementary school I always am better in talk to people, than to write to them. It is unfortunate, that I run my activity’s correspondence in emails and not on the phone, I think, I could have much more clients, if I could even face them, but since I am a translator, it is quite impossible to knock on everyone’s door, since I have – fortunately – clients all over the world.
There are a lot of people, who think, that oral exams are riskier, since you don’t have time to correct yourself, what you’ve said, remains said forever (Even, what you think, just look at the Physicists), but this is actually the point, that what you say, you always can correct, but what you’ve written, remains there and can’t be disregarded. It can be read all over again, as long as the email/paper is not deleted.
How does the difference look now, right?
There are different approaches to avoid the fear of talking in public. Some people say, you only have to think on your audience, like they’d be naked, others say, think on them sitting on the toilet, others again suggest to avoid eye contact, so it appears, like you’d just practise, what you have to say, others have the whole speech written down and just read it.
I don’t think, there is actually anything, you can or should do to familiarize with the people you are talking to.
You should just be able to think to be in their situation, like you’d be part of them.
How would you look on yourself, if you’d be part of the audience? Maybe you’d be annoyed, because the presenter reads all the time from a paper or doesn’t even look into your eyes.
Maybe you had a bad day before the meeting and you are not even interested to be in that very room, you can’t wait to leave.
Maybe you want to listen to the presentation, because it seems to be interesting.
How the audience enters the room, is not your fault, you can’t work on that. What you should work on is, how they feel, after you start talking.
Get them interested and keep their interest.
It is almost impossible to find an annoying topic, if you match your audience’s level of knowledge and the appropriate form of talking about it.
- Don’t try to appear cleverer, than you are.
- Don’t try to be arrogant.
- Don’t avoid questions.
- Don’t try to avoid people, who might ask you things, you haven’t even thought about, before you’ve created your presentation, their points can lead to a very interesting conversation, even if you haven’t prepared yourself to that.
- Don’t talk quick, people won’t understand a word of what you want to tell them
Instead of, try to be yourself, dress like you are used to, talk like you are used to, use the words, you know the meaning of and admit, if you don’t know something.
There is nothing worse then, than a presenter, who seems to be nervous only, because an accidental problem happens, like internet is gone during an online presentation, a bug appears on the site, you want to present, you encounter a behaviour of the product during the presentation, which you’ve never seen before.
Sure, if your audience haven’t realized the problem, you can switch to another topic, without pointing out the bugs, but if they have noticed it, be honest, tell them, you will take care of this problem, don’t even try to solve it there, since it can take ages and you can’t be sure, you can fix it, just go smoothly to another topic, so the time will take care of this moment and your audience will not even notice at the end of the presentation, that there was a problem (remember the rubber on every pencil? It is foreseen, since EVERYONE makes mistakes, your developers, your testers, you, even your boss).
Be confident, you are the only person, who knows the product as good as possible, you’ve worked with it for months, sometimes years, the only thing, you have to do is, talking about something, you know. Noone can you put into difficulties, whatever they will ask about, you’ve already thought on previously during the creation or testing of the product.
Remember, you can become anyone, with enough practise, a marathon runner, a baker, a developer, a writer, so why not a good speaker.
Don’t disregard this…practise!!!!