Presentation Paranoia

Written by Graham Yemm

“The human brain starts workingrepparttar moment you are born and never stops until you stand up to speak in public.” (Sir George Jessel)

Have you had this feeling before? Rest assured you are not alone. You might be one ofrepparttar 142523 many who would rate your fear of public speaking alongside or ahead of death! Your fear may translate itself to “FEAR”Forget Everything And Run!!

Havingrepparttar 142524 ability to present yourself and your message to an audience, whether internal or external, is a necessary skill for a good manager and leader. By following some simple steps you can improve your skills in this area, reduce your fear and build your confidence. As you have more success in making presentations you may well find yourself actually looking forward to doing more of them. Clients, colleagues and other staff will be more responsive and supportive. You will realiserepparttar 142525 principles apply to groups of 2 – 200 and above, and whether sitting across a desk or in a conference hall.

Why do you want to improve your skills in this area? It might be to reducerepparttar 142526 feelings ofrepparttar 142527 nerves – or even panic. Maybe to reducerepparttar 142528 risk of making yourself look a fool in front ofrepparttar 142529 audience? Or you may want to be able to present yourself and your message with more confidence and conviction to win people over. Perhaps you want to be able to look forward to making presentations? Whatever your reasons,repparttar 142530 principles we will cover here will help you.

The biggest challenge for most people when asked to make a presentation isrepparttar 142531 way their imaginations start to operate. All sorts of thoughts begin to swirl around – and how many are to do with things going wrong, fluffingrepparttar 142532 words, audience reactions etc. etc. and compared with it going successfully and being enjoyable? One way to change this initial response is to followrepparttar 142533 basic ideas covered below. Also, accept that it is not a bad thing to have some nerves. They trigger a chemical reaction which, harnessed properly, will help to make your presentation a success.

The secret is to remember that when you see good presenters, you are only seeingrepparttar 142534 tip ofrepparttar 142535 iceberg. A great deal has gone on beneathrepparttar 142536 surface to enable them to berepparttar 142537 person you see. For those who have a real fear of presenting, they makerepparttar 142538 problem worse. They go into denial ofrepparttar 142539 presentation, use this to keep putting off doingrepparttar 142540 things beneathrepparttar 142541 surface with all sorts of excuses and reasons – so that when they come torepparttar 142542 actual presentation it does not go well. Then they can say, “Told you so! See, I’m no good at presentations!” The art of self-fulfilling prophecy continues. To preventrepparttar 142543 paranoia – make time to dorepparttar 142544 fundamentals! Plan and prepare. Also, have a realistic level of expectation. Too many people, when having to make a presentation, spend too much time focusing on themselves. There is a balance to be met – andrepparttar 142545 secret for a good presentation is to keeprepparttar 142546 focus onrepparttar 142547 audience, and your subject and objective. Getrepparttar 142548 first two right andrepparttar 142549 third will take care of itself!

To get your planning underway, ask yourself some simple questions:

WHAT: Considerrepparttar 142550 purpose ofrepparttar 142551 presentation, to inform, influence, inspire, generate action? Be more specific, what are my objectives from this? What arerepparttar 142552 key things you wantrepparttar 142553 audience to take away with them – or to do?

WHO: Put your focus onrepparttar 142554 people you will be presenting to. How many will they be? What are their objectives? What is their level of knowledge? Will they be a “willing” audience or were they sent? When you haverepparttar 142555 answers to these points, you have some idea of what level to pitch your presentation.

WHERE: Isrepparttar 142556 presentation going to be made in a meeting room, someone’s office, a large venue? What will berepparttar 142557 layout? How flexible is it? (You can always ask to have it set-up to suit you, though a boardroom table is hard to adjust!) What equipment is available? What do you need to take?

WHEN: What time of day are you presenting? Are there other presenters before and after you? What impact will these two answers have on your approach torepparttar 142558 presentation?

HOW: How long have you got? Remember, longer is not necessarily better! Also, although this may seem odd if you are nervous about presentations, it is harder to plan and prepare a brief, effective presentation than to organise a longer one. (Churchill, amongst others, is quoted as saying something alongrepparttar 142559 lines of, “It takes me 10 minutes to prepare for a 2 hour speech – and 2 hours to prepare for a 10 minute one.”)

Putrepparttar 142560 answers to these together and you are in a position to beginrepparttar 142561 preparation ofrepparttar 142562 presentation itself. Some things to consider are:

  • Pull togetherrepparttar 142563 broad content – what is it you want to say? Think aboutrepparttar 142564 headlines for each part. (You can find your own way to do this, though creativity helps with approaches such as mindmapping or just Post-it notes! These are better than just pages of notes.)
  • Gather information – get facts, opinions, research and anything else which might help.
  • Check back with your objectives – andrepparttar 142565 audience’s. Make sure there is a match.

Who do you talk to?

Written by Graham Yemm

Many of you reading this will be running businesses, or parts of, whether they are your own or not. This means that you have many things to deal with on a day to day basis plus trying to dorepparttar long-term thinking needed to lead and runrepparttar 142490 business. You probably find yourself being very busy, possibly working long hours and, if you are honest, being reactive most ofrepparttar 142491 time. When do you get (or make!) time to really think about your business orrepparttar 142492 way you are operating personally? (Working onrepparttar 142493 business rather than in it!) Amongrepparttar 142494 dilemmas you face are; making time to tune out and relax, time think aboutrepparttar 142495 business, and finding time talk to aboutrepparttar 142496 issues and frustrations.

When you are a leader in a business you face a number of challenges at different levels. Ask yourself how much focus you put on to these:

Strategic issues:

  • Assessingrepparttar 142497 market and what is happening?
  • Who are your main competition – and what are they doing?
  • Medium and long-range goals and aims – and planning?
  • What direction do you want to go in, why and how?
  • Implications?
  • Tactical issues

    • Day to day challenges
    • Financial aspects, especially cash flow
    • Monitoring and control of your business andrepparttar 142498 activity
    • Sales and service
    • Personal management style and effectiveness

    People issues

    • Staff – numbers, performance, motivation, development
    • Customers and suppliers
    • Colleagues and working relations
      • As we said earlier, many in your position are so busy dealing withrepparttar 142499 running ofrepparttar 142500 operation they rarely take time to think about these things in a more detached way. Does this apply to you? This is often compounded by a sense of isolation, brought about by their position too. (Is this familiar?) Who do you talk to about your own style of runningrepparttar 142501 business or handling your people? Who can you share concerns with, without feeling you are weakening your position?

        This inability to spend time, orrepparttar 142502 right amount of time, on these vital areas of your business carries risks! Also, what do you do about your own, personal challenges and concerns? Any sense of isolation and not being able to talk torepparttar 142503 appropriate people also has risks. Not many set out to fail in their business lives. Why do they? Often, becauserepparttar 142504 avoid dealing with these risks (possibly even denying them until it is too late.). Sometimes, there may be a combination of circumstances which mean that it cannot be stopped. However, often, disasters can be prevented withrepparttar 142505 right degree of warning orrepparttar 142506 right type of support. Many people running businesses, or organisations, are too close to them. They do not have time to work out what they are doing well and to arrange to do more of these things. When things may not be goingrepparttar 142507 right way, they do not consider things objectively. The pressures might build to stress and it seems even harder to share concerns with a third party. This can lead to a downward spiral towards who knows where!

        The risks torepparttar 142508 business can affect any aspect of it – andrepparttar 142509 people involved. Beyond that, there are also risks to other areas of your life. If things are going awry,repparttar 142510 other part to suffer may be your family or friends. If you are using them as your sounding board, or just carrying bad news or discussing concerns with them it may not help those relationships! (Nor does hiding these things from them either!)

        So what can you do if you feel you do want someone to talk to? You can use friends or family, but they do not necessarily providerepparttar 142511 encouragement for you to step away and look at things in an objective way. There are various options which you can consider. There is no one “right” approach. You need to consider which seems to berepparttar 142512 most suitable for you atrepparttar 142513 time, givenrepparttar 142514 circumstances.

        Advisors: This might be your accountant, someone from your bank or a person you know with a specific “technical” competence who you can turn to. Think about them as someone you can present your situation to and ask for their ideas, or suggestions, about what you could, or should, do. They can be very useful when you needrepparttar 142515 particular expertise.

        Network: Depending on how you operate, you will probably have some sort of network of contacts, whether part of a formal set-up or not. Think about who you know, who has what qualities or skills you can respect or admire and then approach them. (If you are in an organisation, consider colleagues or bosses.) If you have a few friends or acquaintances who are also running businesses, or are people you respect in their field, you may want to consider initiating a support network for you all. (Or create a “mastermind” group.) Arrange to meet at a regular time withrepparttar 142516 aim of having a short, focused meeting to address specific issues and goals – using your colleagues as a sounding board, and for challenge and support. Do not slide out to a purely social gathering, that can come later!! Be disciplined inrepparttar 142517 way you work and you will all benefit.

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