Be Yourself Be Nervous Be Passionate

Many articles about giving a presentation start off saying how people are nervous or even frightened of speaking in public. Then they go on to provide guidance on how to get over the nerves and give a good presentation. All the good advice of preparation and practise, taking deep breaths, sucking a mint, not drinking the water, remember the audience are just people, that they are on your side,  that nothing nasty will happen etc., is all very well intentioned but it doesnít always help.

The fact is that for many people, controlling their nerves puts them into to " Iím a serious business person" mode or " I can stand in front of the audience and not look nervous" mode.  With one of these hats on, they feel they are able to give a good presentation, speak clearly and get all the facts across.

The problem is that in removing their nerves, they also remove all the passion and emotion from their voice. They become slightly robotic and dull in their delivery. Even people for whom presenting is part of their daily job, and who you might expect to be good presenters because they are doing it all the time (e.g.  lecturers, trainers and salespeople) can fall foul of this. Iím sure you all remember a teacher or lecturer, who droned on and on.

What is the point in giving a presentation when you could just type it out and let people read your script? After all, your audience can read it far quicker than you can say it, and then you could all go home and get on with your lives.

For a presentation to be effective their needs to be something else, other than a well written script, there needs to be some emotion. The speaker needs to communicate their feelings and their passion to their audience.

Think of all the really good presenters that you have listened to. I would suggest that what made them good speakers was that they caught and held your interest; they believed in what they were talking about; their passion and enthusiasm came through.

So the next time you stand up to speak, donít worry about being nervous. Let your emotions show.  Your audience will love you all the more for it and they may even keep listening to the end of your presentation.

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