Let’s be honest for a second shall we. How many of you out there have left a presentation design right up until the last minute? Nearly everyone here in our office has their hand raised. The only one who doesn’t is our office dog Honey, she always plans her presentations well in advance!
This common way of looking at upcoming presentations is what we call the ‘head in the sand’ approach. And whilst we’re all being honest let’s take a moment to admit why we’ve taken this approach in the past.
BECAUSE WE’RE BIG SCARDY CATS!
Presenting and public speaking is one of the biggest fears around. And just like booking a dentist appointment, we decide to put these things off for as long as we can because they scare us and make us feel uncomfortable.
The best way to overcome this irrational fear of presenting is to recognise what the fear is telling us. It’s really simple:
1. Something is coming up that you need to prepare for.
2. You need to put some time aside and get ready for this.
3. If you nail this presentation it’ll be great for your career.
4. If you mess this up you probably won’t inspire anybody.
The trick here is to ignore the final point and make steps towards the first point. Get that time in your diary way ahead of the presentation. Even if it’s only a 20 minute planning session to help you gather some thoughts, you’ll feel so much better for doing it and making a start. Once you’ve done that schedule in the next planning session and that might take you onto writing a script and starting a slide deck.
If you’ve got a presentation coming up at any point in the next few months do yourself a favour and after reading this article grab a pen and some paper, switch your phone and laptop off, and starting putting some thoughts down on paper.
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FEEL THE FEAR AND DO IT ANYWAY.