Presentation Anxiety Revisited

My colleague Steve Petti runs New Image Media here in Cleveland, specializing in effective video for the web. As part of his content marketing strategy, he’s inviting local experts to create two-minute video bites on interesting and useful business-related content to post on his website under ‘Grow Your Business/Cleveland’.

Steve invited me to be one of the first presenters for ‘GYB/CLE’, commenting on one of my favorite topics – Managing Presentation Anxiety. Thought you’d be interested in my ‘script’ – no easy trick condensing a two-hour workshop or 1,600-word article down to 310 words.

‘Hi, this is Phil Stella with Effective Training & Communication … empowering business leaders to take the Pain out of Workplace Presentations. And speaking of pain, how many of you experience pain when you deliver presentations at work? How many   hate speaking in public? I see a lot of hands up, so let’s briefly discuss five simple strategies for managing your Presentation Anxiety.

First, it’s a perfectly normal human feeling. Everyone has some degree of PA; It’s caused by reactions to stress and fear.

Second, PA doesn’t have a singular cause. It’s the result of a number of different and separate factors that vary by person and situation. And you can take specific actions to reduce their impact. Begin by clearly identifying each specific factor you think causes your level of PA, like fear of forgetting for fear of audience questions.

Third, for each of these specific causes, what simple steps can you take to reduce or minimize its impact? To minimize the fear of forgetting, practice enough to remember most of your content and create simple, easy-to-read speaker notes to remind you of the rest. Minimize the fear of audience questions by anticipating the obvious ones and creating short clear answers for them.

Fourth, no matter what you do, you’ll still have some level of PA left, so mask the symptoms that show up in your vocal and physical delivery. Pause more and longer … smile more often … sustain eye longer contact … and avoid those movements or gestures that appear nervous. Look and sound confident to your audience … and you are, because their perception is your reality.

And fifth … hard as it sounds … look like you’re having fun up there.

So, there you have five simple strategies for reducing Presentation Anxiety. Best wishes for presenting with more confidence and less pain.’


Hope you enjoyed this brief return visit to PA Land … do let me know if you need a longer trip