Do You Want to Improve the Way You Feel During Your Presentations?

As outlined in my recent newsletter, there are three key elements that can significantly improve your presentation skills. Today, I will focus on the third one, State, which is the way you feel during your presentations.\r\n\r\nYour state can speak louder than your words. It’s the way you feel psychologically, physically, and emotionally from the moment you walk on stage. Mastering your state allows you to control your emotions vs. having your emotions control you.\r\n\r\nIn my presentations, I watch for three key basics outlined in the book As We Speak: How to Make Your Point and Have It Stick, written by leadership trainer and consultant Peter Meyers and performance coach Shann Nix:\r\n\r\n1. Body: It’s important to understand the mind-body connection and how it works in both directions. If you feel nervous—and let’s be honest, most of us do before we get on stage—then our body will show that feeling via shallow breathing, tight face muscles, and other signals. The secret is to reverse the mind-body connection by changing the nervousness (or other) emotion. How? Start by identifying the one emotion you want yourself and the audience to experience. Let’s say it’s confidence. Identify the body patterns you follow when you are confident: not just the way you breathe, but also your facial expression, posture, arm gestures, etc. By reproducing these body patterns right before and as you go on stage, you are sending a message of confidence to your brain and to the audience.\r\n\r\n2. Mind’s eye: This is the set of things on which you choose to focus. Often we let our mind wander into negative territory right before we start our presentation, like: “Will I get asked a question I won’t know how to answer? Will somebody in the audience leave before I end?” The solution is to ask yourself a different set of questions: How can I truly add value to the audience? What’s the best story I can share with them?” These types of questions will steer your brain in the right (positive) direction.\r\n\r\n3. Beliefs: Your beliefs create your reality. If for whatever reason you believe you are not a good speaker, then you will find enough reasons to support your belief. The secret is to identify those beliefs that are holding you back in your professional or personal life, and turn them around into positive ones. Through an exercise I did in my recent speaker training, I identified my belief that I was not as good of a speaker in Spanish as I was in English. Despite Spanish being my native tongue, I’ve had more presentation opportunities in English and thus felt more comfortable in that language. Through this exercise I converted that belief into one where I felt fortunate to be able to do keynotes in either language, depending on the audience’s preference.\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\nPercy M. Cannon\r\nAuthor, Speaker, Consultant, Facilitator & Coach\r\

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