It’s perfectly natural to feel nervous or anxious before a meeting or presentation, particularly if you consider yourself to be an introvert. But while it might be natural, it is not particularly helpful when it comes to delivering your message with clarity, authority and confidence – a skill that is especially important when it comes to climbing the corporate ladder in today’s workplace.
Here’s the good news: presenting with confidence is a skill that can be learned. And you can get started today, with 3 super-easy confidence-building hacks, which I talk about in one of my “Tips, Tools and Techniques” videos. Here’s a quick rundown of these techniques.
1. Approach the presentation with the mindset of equality
It can be particularly intimidating to present to those in more senior positions than ourselves. After all, surely these people are more intelligent, have more experience, and have greater insights than we could ever have, right?
But here’s the dirty secret to confidence-building: just like you, everyone else is making it up as they go along. While we are conditioned from a young age to revere those in positions of authority, at the end of the day, they are just human beings, no better or worse than you, who are simply looking to exchange knowledge.
Approach the presentation, therefore, from a mindset of equality, and think about how to connect with others in the meeting on a fundamentally human level. Collegiality can go a long way in helping you form a connection and reduce your anxiety.
2. Have some perspective
When it comes to presentations, we can sometimes over-inflate their importance in our minds. And, sure, if you’re pitching to a big client, or taking the lead on a big project, than that’s pretty important – but, ask yourself, is it really as important as you think it is? Are you, for example, likely to be fired if it doesn’t go well? Is anyone likely to die or be injured by a poor delivery? I’m guessing probably not.
It can be easy to catastrophise about the possible outcomes of a presentation, but this of course only serves to increase your anxiety. Instead, employ a healthy dose of perspective, and remind yourself that this presentation is probably not that important in the grand scheme of things.
3. Preparation is key
If you’re inadequately prepared for a presentation, this will of course send your nerves sky-rocketing and shake your confidence. Make sure you put in the hard yards, and prepare yourself physically, through several rehearsals, as well as mentally, by employing the two techniques above.
Watch me describe these techniques in the video:
Practice makes perfect
While these hacks can be used to help you in your next presentation, they definitely become easier and more refined the more times you practice. Keep revisiting these simple tools, and they will soon become second nature.
Want even more confidence-building techniques? We’ve got you covered, with our 4 key steps to owning your confidence cheat sheet. Download it now!
The Colin James Method® Facilitators train corporate executives to improve their professional development with a proven methodology. Our highly trained Facilitators and Coaches are recognised for their experience in their fields and have worked with many individuals and organisations around the world to master the art of communication.