Tag Archives: Public speaking course Brussels

How to Deal with Nerves in Presentations and Public Speaking


By David Rose, Director LACS Training Brussels

 

Link to LACS Training Services

 

Quote about nerves in presentations and public speaking

Presenting or speaking in public – as you will likely have experienced – makes people nervous… In fact, it’s one of the commonest social fears.

1. Why do we get nervous?

When we are faced with a dangerous or difficult situation our body’s automatic “fight or flight” response kicks in, pumping adrenaline into our bloodstream.

In its most extreme form, it produces a condition psychologists term ‘glossophobia’ – where the sufferer literally freezes and can’t speak.

For most of us, it’s thankfully not so severe. We just get any combination of the more typical, ‘milder’ symptoms:

2. How does it affect our performance?

Here, we need to consider three key questions:

A) When does your audience judge you – deciding you’re a ‘good’ presenter with an interesting message for them (so you’ve got their attention)… or vice-versa (so they switch off)?

Answer: in about the first ten to thirty seconds

B) When do nerves affect us the strongest?

Answer: in about the first thirty seconds

C) How often do speakers recover after a ‘nervy’ start and fully recapture the audience’s attention?

Answer: very rarely, if ever

So, we have a crucial coincidence of the peak of a speaker’s nerves and ‘instant’ audience judgment together with the fact that if you don’t start well, you’ve lost an ‘ideal’ level of audience interest and impact you will most likely never fully recover.

With this in mind, it’s hardly surprising that after your presentation or speech you might feel like…

… you’ve underperformed…

…not kept the audience’s attention as you wanted…

…not had the impact you hoped for… Continue reading

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Public Speaking and Presentations: Good Examples Part 2


By David Rose

As you may have already seen on the blog, I’ve published a series of three articles giving practical tools to improve your public speaking and presentation skills.

In tandem, I’ve provided some good examples of public speakers illustrating the key techniques outlined in the articles.

By popular demand, here’s a second set of example videos of excellent public speakers in action.

You’ll realise one thing when watching them… Continue reading

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Presentations: Your Body language… Asset or Enemy?


By David Rose

You’ve prepared your presentation content and slides, your key messages are well-structured, clear and consistent, you’ve incorporated a range of techniques to ensure you are  engaging and memorable and rehearsed your content well to make sure you’re fluent and comfortable…

So, you’re 100% prepared and ready to go… or are you?

Consider this definition:

“Body Language (Noun): The gestures, movements and mannerisms by which a person communicates with others.”

Merriam Webster Dictionary

Key concept 1: body language is communication, not just a ‘garnish’ to a presentation

Now, let’s also turn to the summary result of large quantities of international research in the corporate and institutional sectors into what really contributes to ‘effectiveness’ and ‘impact’ in professional communication, especially in forming the crucial ‘first impression’:

Importance of Body Language in Communication

 

 

 

 

 

 

Key concept 2: body language can have more real impact on our audience than voice, tone or choice of words.

So, unless you’ve seriously considered your body language – for example how and when you move, your range of gestures and when and why you will use them, the overall image you project – you’re ready for only one thing…

…to underperform.

 

1. Which aspects of body language demand consideration?

Five areas need to be ‘consciously managed’ when presenting: eye contact, posture, hand gestures and position, facial gestures and movement.

Continue reading

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Public Speaking and Presentations: Good Examples


By David Rose

Following my series of three articles on practical tools to improve your public speaking and presentations, I’d like to share some good examples of different public speakers illustrating these techniques in practice.

I hope you find them useful!

1. Chunking (pausing and emphasis) and Body Language

Note the use of chunking and co-ordinated body language (hand gestures to illustrate key points, ranging eye contact etc.) in the two speeches below:

(a) Tony Blair, Council on Foreign Relations, 03/12/08 – VIDEO

http://www.cfr.org/publication/17926/conversation_with_tony_blair_video.html

Continue reading

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Public Speaking and Presentations (3/3): Emphasis and Pausing


By David Rose

Right – here we are again for the third and final part of my series on how to boost your public speaking and presentations skills.

The first two parts in this series have covered how to clearly structure your message and how to effectively link it with transitions and signposts. If you haven’t yet read these, I’d invite you to do so first 🙂

Now, we turn our attention to the remaining group of ingredients to ensure your public speaking is consistently effective and achieves the desired impact: emphasis and pausing. Continue reading

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Public Speaking and Presentations (2/3): Transitions and Signposting – ‘Speaking Glue’


Public Speaking and Presentations (2/3): Transitions and Signposting – ‘Speaking Glue’

By David Rose

After an enforced break to move into my new house in Brussels and prepare for a new government training project in Serbia (I’m currently there – writing this in a hotel in Belgrade), I’m back with the second of three articles on public speaking skills: Transitions and Signposting – ‘Speaking Glue’.

The first article in this series – ‘Structure for Success’ – outlined how to achieve an overall planned, cyclic structure for your key messages and content to enhance your presentation, meeting intervention or speech.

Now, as promised, we come to the methods, techniques and language to effectively use transitions and signposts – the connections that ‘glue’ your messages together into coherent parts, so keeping your audience engaged and making your key messages clearer and more memorable. Continue reading

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Public Speaking and Presentations (1/3): Structure for Success


Public Speaking and Presentations (1/3): Structure for Success

By David Rose

Have you ever had to give a presentation, present a new idea, initiative or position in a meeting, speak at a conference, give a speech, do a press conference or do an interview? If you’ve experienced any of these, you’ll be very familiar with the unsettling, nerves and adrenaline rush that inevitably comes the first time (and usually more than just the first time!).

If, however, you’ve had to do any of these in a foreign language, you’ll also be no stranger to the often frequent problem of the words not coming when you need them – what I term the ‘goldfish syndrome’: the mouth opens and closes like a goldfish but no words come out! Continue reading

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