A number of years ago there was a list taken from the book of lists that stated that Presentation skills and speaking to a large audience was the number 1 fear people had.
In fact 41% of people rated it as their biggest fear.
The strange thing about the list was that only 19% of people said death was their biggest fear. It is amazing to think that standing up and delivering a presentation to a group of people rated a higher fear than death.
The good news is that through presentation skills training you can alleviate that fear. Of course it’s true to say that you may still be anxious and get butterflies in your stomach before the presentation, but through good presentation skills training at least you will be able to make the butterflies fly in the same formation.
So how can presentation skills training help you? Well obviously every good presentation skills training programme will have a section dedicated to anxiety and nerves and offer specific techniques to help you deal with this. But there is more to it than that, the more confidence you have in your presentation style, notes, visual aids, structure of the presentation, knowledge of the audience, knowledge of the topic and knowledge of what you are trying to achieve, the more at ease you will feel.
Most presentation skills training programmes also allow time to deliver the presentations in a safe environment and receive feedback from a qualified instructor, this allows you to work on areas that need to be worked on, and many presentation skills training programmes allow time for the instructor to work through these areas with you. The more confidence you have in the presentation and your own presentation skills and delivery the less fear you will have.
There is no substitute for practice and I am always reminded of the famous golfer (I believe it was Gary Player) who had just chipped in the ball from the edge of the green.
I believe he was interviewed after the game and the commentator said ‘You must have been thrilled with the luck you had on that final shot’ the golfer replied ‘yes I was, but it’s funny the more I practice that shot, the luckier I get with it’
I believe there is a lesson for us all to learn whether you are playing golf or using your presentation skills to address an audience, the more you practice the luckier you will get and the luckier you get the less anxious you will be.
We can not help the 19% of people who have a fear of death, but through presentation skills training carried out by an instructor who is a master in the art of presentation skills you can definitely overcome the fear of making presentations