Monday, January 14, 2013

4 Strategies to Managing the “Jitters”

Would you like to earn higher grades?  Would you like to land your dream job? Would you like to earn a job promotion?  Would you like to earn more money?  Most folks would answer yes to these questions; however, only a few will do what it takes to realize these things. 

One way to successfully earning higher grades, getting the dream job or job promotion, and earning more money is learning to give effective presentations! 

Being afraid of presentations shouldn’t stop us from doing them. Don’t be afraid; don’t avoid them at all costs.  Here are a few strategies for harnessing the fear, and getting the fear to work for you: 

One, Stay positive.  Understand that the biological feelings we are having like the nervous stomach are natural and we all feel it.  We are outside our comfort zone and it makes us uneasy.  Use those biological feelings to your advantage; they will make you sharp and animated. 

Two, Be rational.  Think of the worse things that could happen. Then, be realistic, and see how they will not happen.  No one is going to laugh at you, no one is going to throw tomatoes at you, you will not forget everything (if you do forget something, so what?  The audience won’t know it). 

Three, Focus on the listeners.  Concentrate on the listener getting the information she/he came to hear.  Don’t look at a presentation as a performance.  Presentations are not about the presenter; they are about the audience.  I hate to tell you this; but, the audience really doesn’t care about you, your hairstyle, your dress, your nose, you weight, or anything else about you.  They care about the message you are giving. 

Four, Prepare early and practice.  An audience will get downright hostile if you come unprepared.  You owe it to them to be prepared.  Many students tell me they aren’t good at presentations after only preparing for one day.  I tell them that is not the case, you can be good at presentations, you simply are not good at preparation.

Follow these four tips and learn to practice as often as you can; you will also learn that the “jitters” or nervousness is normal and natural.  Take advantage of this adrenaline rush and use it to keep you sharp, look confident, and enthusiastic.  You will become good at presentations thus earning promotions, notoriety, prestige, better grades, more money, and better jobs.

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