Mar 21, 2017
This week's Tip: Sit in the back of the room
Before you start your presentation, and before your audience
enters the room, display your most complex slide, and sit in the
back row. Then sit in a few other places in the room. Your
goal is to make sure you can see and read your slides from all
points in the audience. You actually need to sit in the chairs to
get the angles right and understand exactly what the audience sees.
If your slides aren't legible, or you encounter other things that
make it tough to consume and experience your presentation, you have
time to fix them before you start. It's all because you
literally put yourself in the place of the audience.
Post Tip Discussion:
It's almost cliché now for a Public Speaking tip site to
repeat the claim that people are more afraid of public speaking
than they are of dying. Is Public Speaking really so
terrifying that people would rather die than give a speech?
No. That claim comes from a frequently misquoted study from
1973. You can read more about the study in this article:
Speaking Really More Feared than Death?
There are a
number of different strategy for dealing with nerves and glossophobia
"Your Perfect Presentation," Bill Hoogterp
What you think of as nervousness is really just trapped
energy… The harsh truth is this: Get over yourself.
Forget yourself. The speaker doesn't matter. Your magic
happens when you focus on how to get your audience to know
something and do something. To feel something…when you stop
thinking it's about you, that is when your greatness begins to
emerge. It's about the audience getting your content.
"Peak Performance Presentations
," Richard Olivier
Richard's father, Laurence Olivier, was a successful
actor for over 50 years. A reporter once asked him, towards the end
of his life, when he stopped getting nervous. He replied; "The day
I stop getting nervous is the day after I should have stopped!"
Being in front of a crowd is not a 'normal" occurrence; it is
"special" and requires a special energy. Remember: Presentation is
We use the image of "riding a tiger", with you being the rider
and your nerves the tiger. If the nerves have you, it feels like
you are being dragged off on a wild animal over whom you have no
control, and whom you have good reason to fear. If you stop your
nerves altogether it is like watching a tame, doped-up tiger in a
circus (claws and teeth removed for safety). But there is no "bite"
and no interest. However, if you and the tiger are "in flow" there
is an exciting edge that others enjoy watching.
The only reason to feel nervous is to use that adrenaline to
speak with more energy. Because presentations aren't about you, the
speaker. They're about the audience. Good public speaking begins
with respecting the audience. The moment you realize that it's not
what you say that counts in the end, but what the audience hears,
you will be on the road toward becoming a great speaker. And you'll
forget about your own nervousness.
Ultimately, one of the best ways to manage the fear of public
speaking is to prepare, practice, rehearse, and do it all over
again. Focus on delivering your core message -- the message your
are passionate about -- to the audience, and give the audience the
best experience you can.
And sometimes all you can do is be nervous -- be afraid -- and
get out there and do it anyway.
For especially severe case of glossophobia
kind that prevents a person from living the life they want to live,
other professional assistance may be a good choice. Many
organizations have an EAP, or Employee Assistance Program, that
many folks don't take advantage of and often forget exists.
Call to Action:
- How do you manage stage fright, glossophobia, or public
speaking anxiety? Let me know in the comments below.
- If you enjoyed this episode of 2 Minute Talk Tips, please leave
a review in
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app so you never miss an episode.
- Next time you present, be sure to check out what the audience
sees from the back row.
- Don't get best...get better.