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Do you get nervous before you present? If so, let’s fix that!

By February 9, 2022No Comments

Sharing Attention Pays with Virtuoso Travel Forum event in San Antonio

Ever get nervous before you present? Hate public speaking?

Sweaty palms. Dry mouth. Shaky hands. Forgetting your next point. Voice shaking. Feel and sound familiar? While I don’t believe in the crazy concept that people fear pubic speaking more than death, all of those things are very real and very scary for many — you aren’t alone.

Me? It’s my favorite thing to do. The stage is my happy place. Something magical happens when I slip on my microphone headset (I call her Minnie… like Minnie Mouse).

Ever since I was a little girl (well yes I realize I’m still little at 4’10), I’d read aloud in Sunday School and choreograph spontaneous plays and dances for me and the other kids in our neighborhood to perform for our parents. When I began working I’d volunteer for the presentation, teach the program, or to lead the project. I realized early in my career that if you could master presenting, you could get promoted. Speaking up and speaking out could highlight projects, passions, and people as a powerful tool.

Last week at the luxurious LaCanterra Resort and Spa in San Antonio I had the privilege of serving a room filled with talented leaders including owners and managers of travel agencies, cruise lines, hotels, and tour operators. We chatted about how to present more powerfully and confidently and how to get attention for your business and ideas. (Side note: if you’re planning ANY kind of travel, you want to work with a Virtuoso Travel advisor, it sure has become more complicated to travel these days with COVID, and they can help you.)

When I work with leaders they often want to know how to get attention for their offerings and from their clients. When looking for that answer, they often focus on sharing metrics, rather than sharing meaning. 

Instead, I shared with them that it’s more important to structure our information through the lens of what’s most meaningful for our clients (and audience). 

Before every presentation, my philosophy is to always ask the question, “How can I best serve this audience?” By focusing the conversation on serving the audience, you can provide them with practical strategies they can apply immediately. And the nerves? Well, “you can’t be nervous when you stand in service.”

Creating powerful presentations will not only help your clients understand your offering but support your business and idea as well. It’s vital to build a presentation structure to not only inform, but keep focus and build advocates too.

Here are a few presentation strategies I shared last week:

  • Determine a clear context for your presentation so your big picture is clear
  • Decide what the concept of your presentation — think of this as 1-2 sentences that demonstrate your point
  • Support your presentation with stories and evidence the audience will remember
  • Remember always to focus on how to best serve your audience, and share ideas that benefit them
  • Encourage audience interaction in the first two minutes, this helps you get your audience attention and share how you want to connect
  • Assume everyone wants to play with you (that’s what I always do and it always works)

Being a powerful presenter is a skill we can all get better at (even if you hate speaking in public).

…and something else to remember:

“don’t think of it as a presentation, think of it as a conversation”

And if you and I were just chatting you wouldn’t get nervous, right?

So what about you? What do you do when you get nervous?

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