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presentation nerves

4 Ways To Harness Presentation Nerves And Make Them Work To Your Advantage

presentation nervesThere is endless advice available on how to overcome presentation nerves.

For many people fear of speaking in public ranks higher than fear of spiders or even death.

The problem – according to Jeremy Jamieson, psychology professor at the University of Rochester – is that we tend to think all nerves and stress is bad.

“Before speaking in public, people often interpret stress sensations, like butterflies in the stomach, as a warning that something bad is about to happen”.

Jamieson goes on to say “But those feelings just mean that our body is preparing to address a demanding situation, The body is marshalling resources, pumping more blood to our major muscle groups and delivering more oxygen to our brains.”

How our body reacts to social stress is exactly the same ‘flight or fight’ response it produces in response to actual physical danger.

The good news is that we can actually use these responses to help us perform. So if presentation nerves raise their head here are some ways to use it to your advantage

 

Get Your Preparation In Early

Don’t wait until a few days before your talk to get started. Allow those presentation nerves spur you into action and seize the earliest opportunity to prepare

Know Your Content

Presentation nerves are more likely to kick in if you are not fully confident in out content. Make sure you thoroughly understand your topic. Understand the stats, what they mean, what call to action they suggest .

Practice Your Delivery

Rehearse your talk out loud as often as you can and record it. Then you can both see and hear how you come across and make any changes necessary.

Prepare Your Answers

Being put on the spot can be a nerve wrecking experience. Make a list of likely questions you’ll receive, and prepare your answers. If you don’t know the answer to a question don’t be afraid to say something like ‘I’ll need to get back to you on that’

Remember that even the most consummate and experienced performers experience performance nerves, so don’t let them cripple you. Instead let them keep you sharp!

 

“ConfidentSpeak is a Voice and Communications consultancy based in Dublin, Ireland. We have worked with leading Irish and international companies and executives. Contact us for details on our range of  corporate/private voice, executive presence and presenting programmes for executives, sales teams and technical professionals.”

info@confidentspeak.com

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You might also enjoy these…

 

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https://www.confidentspeak.com/imagine-understanding-the-simple-art-of-persuasion-3-skills-ancient-rhetoric-can-teach-us/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

handling questions after presentation

How to Answer a Tricky Question During the Dreaded Presentation Q & A

When you’re giving a presentation, it’s probably fair to say that few people really relish the question time at the end. So when it comes to how to answer a tricky question during the presentation Q & A, what’s the best approach? How should you handle it? There’s really only one proven way.

By Olivia MacDonnell, ConfidentSpeak

Presentation Q & A: How to Answer a Tricky Question

I was flicking around Quora recently, the question and answer website where one often comes across a brilliant question and a series of brilliantly constructed answers.

 

You’re asking for a ‘crafty way to dodge a question’, but that really is one of the stupidest things a person can do. Audiences can see right through it and will lose confidence in your qualification to be speaking to them and they will lose respect for you. DON’T DO IT

Quora.com user Robert Frost

Mr Frost also included a handy flow chart in his answer, based on the relevance of the question and, crucially, whether you know the answer.

So what’s the best course of action when you’re asked a tricky question at the end of a presentation?

Presentation Q & A: How to Answer a Tricky Question?

Our opinion for the thorny topic of how to answer a tricky question, too, is that honesty is definitely the best policy.

Audiences can see through the bluff—they will know when someone is trying to pull a fast one.

If you don’t know the answer you should do one or both of the following:

  • Say you don’t know and that you’ll find out, because honesty is always the way forward
  • Open the question to the floor

Click on this link to see the other opinions are on this question!

Click here for several more very fine answers to this question over on the Quora forum

About ConfidentSpeak

ConfidentSpeak is a Voice and Communications consultancy based in Dublin, Ireland.

We offer a range of voice and communications programmes for executives, sales teams and technical professionals. Our packages are tailored for both individual and corporate level. We work with leading Irish and international companies and executives

Contact us for details by filling out this form, or call or email us via the details below.

Telephone:- +353 1 9696056

Email: info@confidentspeak.com

presenting advice

The Seven Habits of Successful Public Speakers

Everyone needs a bit of help when it comes to what can make or break a good presentation or public speaking engagement. A recent article in Entrepreneur magazine points out some of the great tips and habits of successful public speakers.

By Maria Tecce, ConfidentSpeak

The Seven Habits of Successful Public Speakers

The article was written by Johnathan Li and can be read in its entirety here.

But to sum up the seven key points, the habits shared by successful public speakers, they are:

1. Focus on the audience

World-class successful public speakers ask, “What do I want the audience think, do or feel differently after my presentation?”

Focus on sharing your message with the audience and you will become more successful.

2. Engage

One easy way is to engage people’s emotions: ask questions, tell stories or play a short video.

The more engaging your presentation is, the more attention you can get from the audience.

3. Be conversational

Successful entrepreneurs avoid buzzwords.

They use simple words to make sure that everyone understands what they say.

To get your point across, use simple words that even a 10 year old can understand.

4. Tell powerful stories

Stories help you stand out from the crowd.

The best stories are usually from your personal experiences because you know them best and nobody can challenge you.

5. Use slides that are visually engaging

Make sure every slide has one picture that expresses the whole idea and use as few words as possible.

This simple approach will make your presentation more memorable.

6. Get coaching

The key to peak performance is coaching.

Even personal development legend Tony Robbins has a coach.

7. Keep learning

Even top presentation experts keep learning.

They read new books, attend seminars and watch TED Talks (such as Brene Brown, Julian Treasure, Jamie Oliver, the guy with the frog (!) and others) to advance their skills.

For more on this article as well as a little bonus tip from Richard Branson click here.

About ConfidentSpeak

ConfidentSpeak is a Voice and Communications consultancy based in Dublin, Ireland.

We offer a range of voice and communications programmes for executives, sales teams and technical professionals. Our packages are tailored for both individual and corporate level. We work with leading Irish and international companies and executives

Contact us for details by filling out this form, or call or email us via the details below.

Telephone:- +353 1 9696056

Email: info@confidentspeak.com

Main image via Riccardo Annandale on Unsplash

fear of presenting

Most People’s Number One Fear is Public Speaking. (Number Two is Death.)

When it comes to public speaking many of us tend to focus on external factors.

By Maria Tecce, ConfidentSpeak

Jerry Seinfeld, the famous New York comedian, perhaps summed this up best.

He said:

At a funeral, the average person would rather be in the casket than giving the eulogy.”

When it comes to public speaking many of us tend to focus on the ‘outside’: How am I coming across?  How do I look?  Do the audience like me?  What’s in it for me? A big part of effective presenting is actually an ‘inside’ job.

Great public speakers care about what they are saying, care about the audience and connecting with them, and remember that we’re all human beings craving a common connection.

Seinfeld even gets a mention in this article by comedian/therapist Jonathan Decker. It’s not all about technique and analytics!  Check it out here…

http://www.suindependent.com/news/id_7755/Your-Friendly-Neighborhood-Therapist:-How-to-be-a-fearless-public-speaker.html

Maria Tecce

maria@confidentspeak.com

 

 

Julian Treasure's TED talk

Four Powerful Words for Powerful Public Speaking from Julian Treasure’s TED Talk

HAIL. The short acronym and four words from Julian Treasure’s TED talk that the inspiring speaker put forward as the four cornerstones of powerful presentation and public speaking.

By Olivia MacDonnell, ConfidentSpeak

Julian Treasure's TED talk

The human voice: It’s the instrument we all play. It’s the most powerful sound in the world, probably. It’s the only one that can start a war or say “I love you.” And yet many people have the experience that when they speak, people don’t listen to them. And why is that?

Thus begins Julian Treasure’s inspiring “How to speak so that people want to listen” talk for TED.

Treasure elaborates on what he believes are the four “cornerstones” of powerful speaking.

The four words form an acronym for the word HAIL.

The Four Cornerstones from Julian Treasure’s TED talk are:

  • H – Honesty. Being true in what you say, being straight and clear
  • A – Authenticity. Just being yourself, “standing in your own truth”
  • I  – Integrity. Being your word, doing what you say and being somebody people can trust
  • L – Love. If you’re really wishing somebody well, it’s very hard to judge them at the same time.

Later, Treasure adds:

You have an amazing toolbox. This instrument is incredible, and yet this is a toolbox that very few people have ever opened, I’d like to have a little rummage in there with you now and just pull a few tools out that you might like to take away and play with, which will increase the power of your speaking.

Check out Julian Treasure’s TED talk for yourself here … and prepare to be inspired!

 

About ConfidentSpeak

ConfidentSpeak is a Voice and Communications consultancy based in Dublin, Ireland.

We offer a range of voice and communications programmes for executives, sales teams and technical professionals. Our packages are tailored for both individual and corporate level. We work with leading Irish and international companies and executives

Contact us for details by filling out this form, or call or email us via the details below.

Telephone:- +353 1 9696056

Email: info@confidentspeak.com

Richard Branson on Public Speaking

Richard Branson on Public Speaking: The Billionaire Businessman’s Top Tips On Handling Speaking Nerves

You might not think one of the world’s most successful businessmen (not to mention best-known billionaires) might suffer from nerves when speaking in front of an audience. But you’d be wrong. Here are three tips from Richard Branson on public speaking.

By Maria Tecce, ConfidentSpeak

Richard Branson on Public Speaking

Nerves and anxiety affect pretty much everyone at some point, whether you’re speaking to an audience of thousands or one-to-one in the board room.

Much of the time it is not a case of eradicating those feeling but managing them and mastering them.

Great presenters and speakers are not born, they are made, with hard work and preparation.

In a recent article, featured on Fortune.com, Richard Branson mentions Winston Churchill, author Gavin Maxwell, and Mark Twain as his own touchstones for successful public speaking.

Richard Branson on Public Speaking: Lesson from Gavin Maxwell

When you need to speak in front of a crowd, close your mind to the fact that you’re on a stage with hundreds of people watching you and instead imagine yourself in a situation where you’d be comfortable speaking to a group. For example, imagine that you’re in your dining room at home, telling a story to friends over dinner. I know it sounds a little corny, but try it. This trick has certainly removed some of the anxiety for me.

Richard Branson on Public Speaking: Lesson from Winston Churchill

Churchill … once said: “A good speech should be like a woman’s skirt: long enough to cover the subject and short enough to create interest.” Take this advice to heart. Even highly gifted speakers like Churchill would never ask an audience to listen for more than 25 minutes or so. Extending a presentation beyond half an hour will stretch any group’s attention span.

Richard Branson on Public Speaking: Lesson from Mark Twain

Twain was aware of the common misperception that in order to be a great speechmaker, one must be good at speaking off the cuff. Twain addressed this in 1899 when, speaking at a dinner given in his honor at London’s Whitefriars Club, he said: “Impromptu speaking — that is a difficult thing . I used to begin about a week ahead, and write out my impromptu speech and get it by heart.”

Throughout the piece Branson talks about a couple of his best loved tricks to beat the jitters and where his inspiration comes from in handling those nerves.

The full article can be read on Fortune.com over here.

And finally, remember the wise words of Soren Kierkegaard:

Most men pursue pleasure with such breathless haste that they hurry past it.

About ConfidentSpeak

ConfidentSpeak is a Voice and Communications consultancy based in Dublin, Ireland.

We offer a range of voice and communications programmes for executives, sales teams and technical professionals. Our packages are tailored for both individual and corporate level. We work with leading Irish and international companies and executives

Contact us for details by filling out this form, or call or email us via the details below.

Telephone:- +353 1 9696056

Email: info@confidentspeak.com

Main image via David Shankbone / Wikimedia Commons

confidence

The Psychology of Confidence: Power Equals Confidence (And Vice Versa!)

Psychology of ConfidenceAre you interested in the psychology of confidence?

We long suspected that being powerful makes someone more confident, right?

How about the other way around? Yes – being confident does make you more powerful!

So power means confidence, and vice-versa.

A fascinating new report into recent psychological research studies show that when people are in positions of power, they feel more positive and speak more confidently.

These scientific trials, led by a social pyschology researchers at San Diego State University, have documented a shift in vocal quality as people move from positions of lower status to positions of higher status in their field.

So when we find way to feel more secure and self-assured, it affects how we sound.

The Psychology of Confidence Research

More from the researchers themselves:

Sei Jin Ko, a social psychology researcher at San Diego State University, explains that over a hundred college students came in to their lab to have themselves recorded, starting with a recording of their everyday voices. Then they were asked to imagine a scenario involving the purchase of a new car.

Some people were told they were in a position of high power — they had inside information or lots of other offers to choose from. Meanwhile, others were told they had very little power.

Both groups were then recorded reading the same text out loud. “It was something to the effect of, ‘I’m glad we’re meeting today to discuss this, we have a few differences that we’ll need to iron out before we come to an agreement,’ something like that,” Ko explains.

Researchers took the recordings and looked for differences between the two groups by analyzing acoustical features, such as pitch, resonance and intensity.

It turned out that feelings of power are reflected in people’s voices, says Ko. “When you put them in the situation, their voices change,” says Ko. “I think that’s very, very exciting and quite powerful, shall we say — no pun intended.”

Head on over here to read the full article or listen to the NPR piece from Nell Greenfieldboyce.

 

About ConfidentSpeak

ConfidentSpeak is a Voice and Communications consultancy based in Dublin, Ireland.

We offer a range of voice and communications programmes for executives, sales teams and technical professionals. Our packages are tailored for both individual and corporate level. We work with leading Irish and international companies and executives

Contact us for details by filling out this form, or call or email us via the details below.

Telephone:- +353 1 9696056

Email: info@confidentspeak.com

Main Photo Credit: Brunel Johnson / Unsplash

public speaking panic attack

Public Speaking Panic Attack: How to Handle It (Better Than Michael Bay)

It’s our worst nightmare as public speakers: the public speaking panic attack. Nerves take hold, panic sets in, the mind goes blank. When the moment we all dread happening actually happens, how can we recover? Don’t worry, we’ve got your back.

By Olivia MacDonnell, ConfidentSpeak

public speaking panic attack

It is one of the scariest & loneliest places to find yourself and it can happen to anyone.

But if it happens to you, then what?

Well I guess you have a choice – the ‘fight or flight’ choice.

It is entirely up to you. In the case of one much-talked-about Samsung presentation in 2014, Hollywood director Michael Bay chose flight…

But if you choose instead to stay and fight, what do you need to do?

Let’s start here.

  • Stop
  • Take a moment and take a deep breath
  • Accept that you have lost control and your train of thought
  • Admit it—firstly to yourself and then if you want, to your audience

Now, think about this question.

What’s the worst that can happen?

It’s very important that you realise as soon as you possibly can that your audience is not your enemy.

Every audience wants the presenter to do well—if the speaker is doing well, the audience does well.  If a speaker is doing badly, the audience does badly.

In Michael Bay’s case, his audience was no different and they silently willed him to recover.

We break down all possible eventualities below.

Rules for Public Speaking Panic Attack, 1: Before you even get to the auditorium

Remember to have notes or at least a cue/anchor to help you get back on track

Rules for Public Speaking Panic Attack, 2: If you’ve just began your talk

  1. Stop, breathe, admit, accept it yourself
  2. Start over
  3. Tell the audience (honesty is always appreciated)

Rules for Public Speaking Panic Attack, 3: If you’re midway through a sentence

  1. Stop, breathe, admit to yourself
  2. Repeat what you’ve just said (or just ask the audience!) and this should get you back on track.

Good luck!

Olivia

About ConfidentSpeak

ConfidentSpeak is a Voice and Communications consultancy based in Dublin, Ireland.

We offer a range of voice and communications programmes for executives, sales teams and technical professionals. Our packages are tailored for both individual and corporate level. We work with leading Irish and international companies and executives.

Contact us for details by filling out this form, or call or email us via the details below.

Telephone:- +353 1 9696056

Email: info@confidentspeak.com

Main picture by Victor Rodvang on Unsplash

5 Minutes of Mandela: What Can We Learn from One of the World’s Greatest Orators?

Nelson Mandela, whose death in 2013 was felt by millions of people across the globe, spoke some of the most powerful words ever spoken at the end of an extraordinary speech which he gave during his trial in the 1960s for treason and acts of sabotage. He was one of the world’s greatest ever orators, and here is our tribute to perhaps the greatest Nelson Mandela speech of them all.

By Olivia MacDonnell, ConfidentSpeak

Nelson Mandela speech

At ConfidentSpeak we routinely study and learn from the world’s greatest speakers, orators and performers to help leaders communicate more effectively.

Today we take a look at one of the most inspirational and poignant speeches of all time, the Nelson Mandela speech before his imprisonment in 1964.

Speaking in the Supreme Court of South Africa, Pretoria on April 20th, 1964, Mr Mandela knew that he risked the gallows. In the end he was sentenced to life imprisonment with hard labour, a sentence which only came to an end when he was finally freed 27 years later in February 1990.

During his long speech so eloquently delivered, he didn’t deny the charges. Instead he explained how his actions of resistance were, as he saw it, no more than a moral duty.

Probably the most poignant part of this historic address is the last five minutes the transcript of which is below.

Five Minutes of the Greatest Nelson Mandela Speech

Africans want to be paid a living wage. Africans want to perform work which they are capable of doing, and not work which the government declares them to be capable of. Africans want to be allowed to live where they obtain work, and not be endorsed out of an area because they were not born there. Africans want to be allowed to own land in places where they work, and not to be obliged to live in rented houses which they can never call their own. Africans want to be part of the general population, and not confined to living in their own ghettoes. African men want to have their wives and children to live with them where they work, and not be forced into an unnatural existence in men’s hostels. African women want to be with their menfolk and not be left permanently widowed in the Reserves. Africans want to be allowed out after eleven o’clock at night and not to be confined to their rooms like little children. Africans want to be allowed to travel in their own country and to seek work where they want to and not where the labour bureau tells them to. Africans want a just share in the whole of South Africa; they want security and a stake in society.

Above all, we want equal political rights, because without them our disabilities will be permanent. I know this sounds revolutionary to the whites in this country, because the majority of voters will be Africans. This makes the white man fear democracy.

But this fear cannot be allowed to stand in the way of the only solution which will guarantee racial harmony and freedom for all. It is not true that the enfranchisement of all will result in racial domination. Political division, based on colour, is entirely artificial and, when it disappears, so will the domination of one colour group by another. The ANC has spent half a century fighting against racialism. When it triumphs it will not change that policy.

This then is what the ANC is fighting. Their struggle is a truly national one. It is a struggle of the African people, inspired by their own suffering and their own experience. It is a struggle for the right to live.

During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.

Listen to these last five minutes below, or read the full text of this epic speech here courtesy of The Guardian & with thanks to The Nelson Mandela Foundation.

 

About ConfidentSpeak

ConfidentSpeak is a Voice and Communications consultancy based in Dublin, Ireland.

We offer a range of voice and communications programmes for executives, sales teams and technical professionals. Our packages are tailored for both individual and corporate level. We work with leading Irish and international companies and executives

Contact us for details by filling out this form, or call or email us via the details below.

Telephone:- +353 1 9696056

Email: info@confidentspeak.com

telephone interview

When Opportunity Calls: Six Vital Phone Interview Tips for Your Next Job Opp

The phone interview has become an increasingly common part of most recruitment processes. The environment is so different to the face-to-face meeting, so how should you prepare? Here’s our list of six phone interview tips to ace the first round of your job-hunting journey.

By Olivia MacDonnell, ConfidentSpeak

phone interview tips

We were flicking through Fast Company recently when we happened upon an interesting article.

A piece by Judith Stock explained that employers are opting more and more for phone interviews to screen potential new hires as it allows the company to sort through candidates without committing to the expense and time required for on-site meetings.

In her article Ms Stock refers to a survey conducted by Office Team who polled 515 human resources managers in the US.

And the majority of those, 57%, reported that phone interviews happen “very often.”

With this in mind, here are some handy steps for phone interview preparation…

Phone Interview Tips, 1: Research Still Wins

  • Do a web search to find out everything you need to know about the company.
  • Search online for a photograph of the person who is interviewing you – It’s much easier to talk with someone when you know what they look like.
  • Write out a list of questions you want to ask and points you want to make -“What specific qualities and skills are you looking for in a candidate?” “How do you see this position contributing to the continued success of the organisation?” “I read recently that the company…

Phone Interview Tips, 2: Prepare the Scene

  • The last thing you need during a phone interview are noisy interruptions so make sure you can take the call in an isolated room
  • If possible, use a landline as a mobile phone connection can be less reliable
  • If you don’t have a landline then make sure that your mobile phone is fully charged and that you take the call in a place where the reception is reliable.

Phone Interview Tips, 3: Put on Your Game Face!

  • Dress as you would for a face-to-face interview; you’re more likely to feel and sound professional if you look the part.
  • Remember to smile – You wont sound bored or uninterested if you have a smile on your face.
  • Put a mirror on your desk to see your facial expressions when you talk.
  • It’s all about the voice so swallow a teaspoon of honey before the phone and have a glass of water nearby

Phone Interview Tips, 4: The Invisibility Factor

  • Because you’re unseen and so invisible, you can think of this interview like an “open-book test”. So if you wish you can have all the information you need to know about the company and the person conducting the interview open right in front of you, which is much more difficult to do in a face-to-face environment.

Phone Interview Tips, 5: Nail the 3 C’s:

The Three C’S  are concision, concentration and courtesy.

Concision

As phone interviews are generally shorter than in-person interviews you have less time in which to make a good impression so:

  • Avoid long-winded answers keep your responses to no more than three sentences.
  • The day before the interview, practice asking your questions aloud and rehears your answers to some potential questions that the interviewer might ask you -“What are your strengths?” “Tell me about yourself….”)

Concentration

It’s important to stay focused and take notes during the call. Listen carefully throughout so that your responses are to the point.

Courtesy

Be professional and be polite.

  • At the end of the call you could ask – ‘Do my qualifications meet the company’s needs?’ Then ask when you could meet with them in person
  • However the interview goes, end with a ‘thank you.’
  • Remember the last few words of a conversation are often the most remembered.”

Phone Interview Tips, 6: The Follow-Up

If you want this job you need to restate your interest so about 24 hours after the interview ends, send an email to the interviewer:

  • The subject line should be: “Your name and the position you applied for.”
  • Thank them for the opportunity to speak with the
  • Summarise what you spoke about during the interview.
  • Include a link to an interesting news article about the company that you already found during your preparation research.

Conclusion

There you have it. Follow all these steps and you should be set up to communicate brilliantly in any phone interview, and leave you in a perfect position to step forward to the next stage of the process.

To recap:

  • Research is still vital
  • Get your location ready
  • Put on the game face
  • Make the most of being invisible!
  • Tick off “The Three C’s”
  • Follow up with care and attention

Good luck!

About ConfidentSpeak

ConfidentSpeak is a Voice and Communications consultancy based in Dublin, Ireland.

We offer a range of voice and communications programmes for executives, sales teams and technical professionals. Our packages are tailored for both individual and corporate level. We work with leading Irish and international companies and executives.

Contact us for details by filling out this form, or call or email us via the details below.

Telephone:- +353 1 9696056

Email: info@confidentspeak.com

Main picture credit: David Paschke on Unsplash