Jerry Seinfeld jokes that most people at a funeral, faced with the choice of either being the body in the coffin or the live person giving the eulogy, would choose – the coffin? This sad state of affairs is due to the fact that most people are deathly afraid of public speaking. It’s the embodiment of performance anxiety. And over the ages there have been all sorts of strange strategies including the rather curious tip – try to imagine members of the audience in their underwear, or worse. But Kate Hayes, who is somewhat of an expert on the topic believes that with a few strategies, anyone can overcome fear and give that all important presentation the treatment it deserves.
Keep in mind, the primacy and recency effect with a strong beginning and a strong ending because people recall the first and last things they heard. Begin with your name and affiliation and a word or two about your topic – you want them to remember your name. After that, an anecdote, quote or unexpected fact, and if you can make them laugh, even better. But forget that if your joke is lame. In the middle of your presentation, remember that audiences “hear” with their eyes so the more that you can step away from the podium, gesticulate, maybe dance – unless that doesn’t come naturally to you, in which case they’ll remember your awkwardness. Use props if you can. End your presentation with a recap of your main points. And because presentations are a critical part of business strategy, it’s a good idea to get books or coaching for those who are truly nervous but need to give presentations.
- New Media
- How To