Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Proven Techniques To Overcome Stage Fright

Proven Techiques To Overcome Stage Fright

1. Face down your fears.

If you feel your knees turning to jelly out of fear, remind yourself that fear stands for False Evidence Appearing Real. Remember, you can always rationalize yourself out of fear.

2. Learn how to enroll and engage your audience.

If you haven’t yet taken a professional development course on public speaking, consider finding a public speaking training course appropriate for your needs. Learning the art of public speaking a must-skill for any executive and/or business owner.

3. Breathe deeply.

Stand still and feel the ground beneath your feet. Close your eyes and imagine yourself suspended from the ceiling by a thin thread. Just listen to your breathing and tell yourself there is no rush. Slow your breathing until you can count to 6 seconds of in-breath and 6 seconds of out-breath. You’ll now go on in a totally relaxed and confident mood.

4. Relax.

Relaxing is the art of letting go. There are many ways to let go. You can imagine you’re made of rubber and go wibbly-wobbly. Or you can sit in front of a mirror and make a horse’s laugh with your lips. Why not lie on the ground and pretend you’re floating? Letting go un-tenses the body and makes you more at ease and relaxed.

5. The wall push.

Stand about 18” away from a wall and place your palms flat on it. Push against the wall. As you push, your abdominal muscles will contract. As you breath out, hiss and contract the muscles below your rib cage as if you were rowing a boat against the current. Do this a few times, and you’ll banish all feelings of stage-fright.

6. Adrenalin sends the blood rushing to the fight/flight centres of your brain at the base of the skull. Place your hand on your forehead and press gently on the bony points. This will bring the blood to the parts of the brain that need it to present your speech best.

7. Stand tall, with shoulders back and chest out. Smile. Even though you don’t feel happy or confident, do it anyway. You will look confident and your body will fool your brain into thinking it is confident. This really works!!

Source: 1klassifieds, New Straits Times, December 23, 2009

How to Overcome Your Fear of Public Speaking

How to Overcome Your Fear of Public Speaking

Fear of public speaking is one of the most common phobias. No matter how effectively you visualize the crowd wearing only their underwear, traces of fear still remain for just about everyone. How do people effectively overcome that feeling of being tongue-tied and frozen when stepping up to speak to a group?

The fear of being judged, making a mistake, not measuring up, getting hurt either mentally or physically can get in the way of a good performance (speech, seminar, sales presentation, etc).

Remember that people in the audience really want you to succeed. Nobody is standing there hoping you’ll be boring or bad. If you are coming from an authentic place, and you cover the material with clarity, you’ve won three-quarters of your inner battle with fear.

Create Confidence in Yourself

The more sure you are of yourself, the less fear and hesitation you will exhibit when you need to speak in front of a group. When you know what you are saying has merit and the reason you are speaking publicly is because others want to know what you have to say, that will help to inspire your confidence. Remind yourself you have something to share, and it doesn’t matter if your knees shake and you stammer once or twice – if you don’t make a big deal out of it, it is unlikely that anyone else will either.

The more you develop your own self-image, the more you can see that others are interested in your opinion. Remind yourself in your self-talk of all that is motivating you to go up and speak publicly. Remember even if you are just addressing a few colleagues that your opinion is being sought – which already means they are giving you a vote of confidence!.

Release Your Tension

Before going in front of the people you will be addressing, do everything you can to relax. Any technique that you typically use to calm and center yourself (such as deep breathing, visualization, self-talk or Tai Chi) can be utilised to help lower your heart rate and calm your nerves. Do not drink excessive amounts of caffeine.

While you will want to be alert, you do not want to be fidgety or in need of a bathroom. The classic “picture the crowd in their underwear” suggestion can help as well. It takes your mind off the task at hand and lets you put the audience in a different position psychologically; you see them as harmless instead of something to be feared.

Do Your Research

When you need to speak publicly, the more confidence you have in your material, the easier it will be to relax when you are discussing it. Take extra time going over every point and ensure that all of your material is well-researched. Organise everything that you want to say in a logical fashion. Anticipate likely questions that will be asked and give preliminary answers while you are speaking. Make sure your research is broad enough that you will be able to confidently answer most questions. When you make the notes you will refer to, make sure that they will be legible in the speaking situation. Nothing will derail your confidence faster than not being able to read all the fantastic research you have done.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Just as any performance, public speaking requires practice. When you have to speak, take the time to rehearse. If you have access to willing humans, they are the best practice partners because they imitate the situation. If not, an audience of the canine, feline or stuffed animal variety will work. Take your speech or presentation in front of a mirror.

Work on looking as confident, articulate and professional as the words you will be delivering. Use your self talk techniques before you practice, and if you have recruited a practice audience,ask for their feedback. Lather, rinse, repeat until you are speaking eloquently and confidently and can visualize your audience’s positive response. Soon you’ll find that public speaking isn’t the ogre that you feared, but can in fact be a highly rewarding and enjoyable experience!.

Source: 1klassifieds, New Straits Times, December 23, 2009

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Hints and Tips for Power Point Presentation

Hints and Tips for Power Point Presentation

Here are some basic tips for making good presentations. Maybe you heard them before, but how many times have you seen a presentation that ignores them?


Keep it simple and sweet. This does not mean aiming for a fourth grade level of literacy. The contents of your slide should be brief, clear simple statements that sum up the point you are trying to communicate. You may elaborate on your point with your dialogue. If you keep the slide simple and brief, it prevents you from reading the slide to the audience They can do that themselves (if they are still on the bench, manager types have someone to read for them).


Use graphics and pictures to illustrate your point. This helps people to understand what you are saying and what they are thinking are the same things.


Practice by yourself, then practice in front of a friend and get their feedback.

Tell a Story

Scientific concepts and complex ideas are easier to understand in the context of a story.

Tell it Twice

Your introduction slide should give a brief overview of the whole presentation. Your summary slide should repeat BRIEFLY what you have just tried to explain.

Make Your Font at Least 24 Point

It may look good on your computer, but people are going to have to read it from the back row of the auditorium.


Use Contrasting colors for your text and background. Dark blue with white or yellow text is recommended. If you decide go with a more entertaining background make sure you preview your slides in the same way that the audience will see them.

Be Consistent

Use the same font and background for all your slides.

Know Your Audience

Some people just want the data, barely cooked while others expect a nice show with animation and audio to keep them awake.

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Hints and Tips for Seminar Presentation

Hints and Tips for Seminar Presentation

For many of you this will be the first time that you have given a seminar. Here are some hints and tips that you might find useful.

Come Early

You should come early, at least 20 minutes before you give talk. You need to familiarise with the environment and to get know some of the people there.

Take Charge. When you are giving your talk remember that you are the expert in the room. You will know more than most people in the room so be bold and speak out clearly.

Keep Control

Introduce yourself and your talk and the main points that you hope to discuss during your talk. Being the most informed person there means you have to lead your audience gently through the topics and keep them on track.

Timing is Important!

Timing can be quite difficult. There is often a temptation to pack too much into a talk. This is distracting for an audience and can give a negative impression of an otherwise excellent talk. The limit of 5 overheads is as much as you can reasonably cover in 10 minutes.

Ensure that you practice your talk as often as you need, and practicing with other people there also helps you 'simulate' how it feels to stand up in front of a group.

Structure Your Talk

Generally, you should start with an introduction overhead, the middle overheads should show the message you are trying to convey, and the final overhead should show a brief summary of the key points, and conclusions.

Bold and Beautiful

Mixing up the way in which you present material is a really valuable way of holding an audience's attention. Bullet points are a useful way of getting information across but can get quite boring. You should try to use as clear and large illustrations and diagrams are extremely helpful in getting your point across. Badly photocopied diagrams that are too small and detailed to see are worse than listening to other people's karaoke.

Make It Snappy and Interesting!

Although many people who feel nervous like to write out their talk in full reading from a script can be somewhat 'dry'. Try to look at the audience as much as possible. If necessary use bullet points on an overhead as a prompt for yourself as well as underlining key points for your audience. However, do not clutter up overheads with too much text as your audience stops listening to you and starts reading your overheads.

As a general rule font size should not be less than 16-18pts and overheads should contain no more than three main points with a few key words associated with each.

Be Enthusiastic

Try to be enthusiastic (or at least interested) in what you are talking about. Although it is tempting to do so when nervous try to avoid saying things like ' I didn't really get this bit' or 'well this is a bit dull but I'm going to tell you about it anyway'.

Body Language

Your body language is also important. If you look bored you are enhancing the chances that your audiences is super-bored.

Talk Slowly

Make an effort to talk slowly and clearly. If you have a tendency to go fast use props to slow yourself down. e.g. draw diagrams by hand or take a sip of water everytime you change an overhead. It might seem like this takes forever but most of us have a tendency to talk more rapidly in front of a large group. As the expert the speed with which you understand points will be about twice that of an audience so keep it slow.

Ask Yourself

The most important question to ask yourself when you've written a talk is - 'Would I be interested in that talk if I were in the audience?' If the answer is NO then CHANGE YOUR TALK! We've all had to do that.

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