Archive for February 2012

The Key to Presentation Skills Training

At presentation skills training sessions, we can’t wave a magic wand and suddenly make you a great public speaker; it has to come from within.

The key to great presenting is confidence and our training courses focus on improving your skills to boost your confidence. We use techniques such as learning to control your voice and how to sound interesting. Here are 5 confidence building tips to help you with your next pitch.

1. Powerful PowerPoint

During a presentation, power point is your friend. The better quality visuals you have, the more confident you’re going to feel taking about them. Brushing up on your powerpoint skills is a sure-fire way to improve your presentation skills.

2. The Crucial Time

If you spend the half hour before your presentation, re-writing your notes, preparing visual aids, perfecting your ppt or worse still – nervously pacing up and down; you’re setting yourself up for a fall. You’re not going to feel very confident if you spend the time this way. Take a quick break, go out for a walk and get some fresh air, or better still, get out there and meet and greet your audience.

3. Visualisation

When the nerves start to set in, use this technique to help see them off. You’re not actually afraid of making the speech but of the audiences’ reaction. Therefore, imagine your audience listening intently, asking questions, agreeing with you and enjoying your presentation.

4. Engage your Audience

You’ll feel much more confident if you’ve got a couple of tricks up your sleeve to help keep your audience engaged. Prepare some questions for your audience and encourage participation, use rhetorical questions as your speech will sound more like a conversation even though it isn’t, think of personal experiences to bring your material to life.

5. Re-enforcement

During your speech find one or two audience members that are obviously engaged; focused, agreeing, nodding and laughing (in the right places). Keep returning back to them for an instant confidence boost, it’ll re-enforce the fact that you’re performing well and your confidence will grow. There’s no point keep looking at the fidgets or the guy who looks more bothered about missing lunch.

Subscribe to our blog for more presentation skills training tips and you’ll be speaking like a pro in no time.

Fight or Flight at our Public Speaking Courses

Nerves are a natural response when it comes to public speaking. At our public speaking courses we often begin by explaining what causes this anxiety. A greater understanding of what’s happening to your body will ultimately help you take control and deal with the unpleasant symptoms such as nausea and shaking.

Fight Flight Response

Your anxiety is caused by an engrained survival instinct. In the animal kingdom, when mammals are threatened, their body physically reacts. The brain tells the body to produce a surge of adrenaline or noradrenaline to enable them to either fight or flee from the danger.

The same reaction occurs in humans and it’s simply the adrenaline overload that causes the physical reactions of rapid heartbeat, sweating, feeling dizzy, sick or tremors.

Consider this in the context of public speaking –

Your Threat – The Audience

Not taking you seriously

Disagreeing with you

Not listening to you

Ridiculing your work

Not laughing at your jokes

Shouting, sniggering, pointing

As more adrenaline pumps around the body you go into hyper-mode; thought patterns become irrational and the physical symptoms make you even worse.

The good thing is – if this was 50,000 years ago; you’d have much more chance of escaping from a wild animal.

The bad – you’re not reaching your true potential because of your struggle to speak in public.

Obviously you can’t turn this response off – it’s deep-rooted in our subconscious through millions of years of evolution. So how do you combat nerves?

You’ve already taken the first step – through understanding what is happening to your body. The next time you feel the nerves start to overcome you, remember this post! The threat may feel very real at the time but remember that it’s simply too much adrenaline pumping round your body.

Take a deep breath and repeat…….I am not a caveman but a strong, confident, articulate individual.

Business Training Direct’s approach works by firstly understanding public speaking fears and anxieties are irrational. At our public speaking courses, we focus on replacing these nerves with confidence and ability, by learning how to prepare, construct and deliver speeches.