You are driving down the road to your presentation destination, and invariably there are barriers to public speaking success.
In the ABC's of your presentation destination, you've assessed your audience, your goals and your strengths. Now comes the hard part figuring out what holds you back from your ultimate goals in your career or business. Those pesky roadblocks that send us on a detour away from our dreams.
When I speak to clients about what they would like to improve upon in their speaking, I've heard these three barriers come up repeatedly.
Fear & Anxiety
The biggest barrier to presentation success is fear and anxiety. Standing-up in front of a group of people stimulates our fight or flight instincts. We might as well be out in the open waters swimming with great white sharks. Our body is going to have the same reaction to sharks as it does to public speaking. Fear can be faced and anxiety dealt with. The trick is understanding how your body NATURALLY reacts to the anxiety caused by a presentation and how to cope with the anxiety during presenting. In fact, fear can actually be the fun of speaking. It gives a bit of an edge to our performance. You just have to understand what is happening to you and how to effectively deal with the fear.
As I practice my own presentations, I have this conversation with myself: “This presentation is sucks. No one is going to find this useful. Why are you doing this? You are going to fail!” I then argue back with myself: “No, this is going to be great. I just need to press on!” You might think I am insane or you might notice that you do this too! You have to exorcise those public speaking. You are often your own worse enemy. You must identify those beliefs and replace them with knew ones in order to reach your presentation destination!
Sometimes you just need a win under your belt. Often times the people I work with just haven't had enough experience presenting. When they took their job, they didn't think presenting to clients was in the job description. Malcolm Gladwell's book, Outliers, he says you have to do an activity for 10,000 hours before you can be an expert. Unless you started your public speaking career when you were 10, you are most likely hosed for that presentation or workshop you are doing next week or next month. Hiring a coach can dramatically cut down the time you spend to get you to an expert level. If you have a longer time frame to get ready for a presentations (say 6 months), Toastmasters is a great way to get experience. In order, to reach your presentation destination you need to get experience presenting.
If you know the barriers that stop you from getting speaking success, you can overcome those. Summit your fear, quite the voices of your inner demons and get the experience you need!
Next week, we are going to talk about the C of your presentation destination – crafting killer content!