According to that great medical journal (The Readers Digest!), speaking in front of a group of people is still the number one fear in America today! The following three suggestions may help you deal with that fear. These will assist you when speaking to 2 or 20 or 200!
1. Preparation compensates for a lack of talent! Prepare the talk in advance. Organize your visuals, handouts, props, and material. Practice and rehearse not only the content but also the delivery. Analyze the audience by asking yourself these questions: In what are the attendees interested? What is important to them? How do they want to feel or think at the end of my presentation?
2. Your first burst is important! You should practice, rehearse, memorize, and/or choreograph your €œfirst burst. This is your opening sentence or paragraph. The purpose of the €œfirst burst is to grab the attention AND the interest of your audience. Using hilarious humor, quotable quotes, startling statistics, topical stories, and/or a focusing question can accomplish this. Use your imagination when creating your €œfirst burst.
3. Your audience is more forgiving than you are! Loosen up, lighten up, have fun when making a presentation. Don`t take yourself too seriously. The audience is not expecting perfection and neither should you! Remember: Angels fly because they take themselves lightly. One other thing: When in doubt, just get in front of the audience and let’er rip.
The following poem summarizes this point.
It seems a 17 year old boy was debating whether to kiss his girlfriend or not. So, he dropped to his knees and prayed: Lord, Lord up above, should I kiss the girl I love? A voice come back saying, Sinner, sinner down below, pucker up and let’er go!
When in front of an audience, remember to just pucker up and let ‘er go!