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Friday, April 25, 2014

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It is normal to feel anxiety before giving a speech or presentation but it is important to learn how to control the amount of anxiety that you feel. Take control of your anxiety now by following these steps and turn it into a positive experience for you and your audience:

1.       Find out the type of people who are attending – it’s important to know the type of people who will be listening to your presentation so, you can use the terminology they are used to or will understand better. Think about a pharmacist talking to someone who is not knowledgeable about the pharmacy terminology. The pharmacist would have to use different terminology, so the audience will be able to understand what they’re trying to say.

2.       Practice – It is important to practice what you’re going to say before your presentation. Record yourself, so you will know how you sound and where you should work on emphasis. Look at yourself in the mirror or videotape yourself, so you can view how people will view you, your words and your body language. Most importantly, if you can’t convince yourself of your topic, you won’t be able to convince others. If you will have a time limit for your presentation, time yourself so, you will learn how to fit your entire presentation into the timeframe you’re allowed.

3.       Topic – Pick the topic you will talk about, learn more examples that your audience may view as relevant, and share personal stories and humor. Present your topic as if you’re talking with a group of people rather than telling people from a presentation type of voice which will result in a more effective way to capture your audiences’ attention.

4.       Imagine – Imagine how you will look, sound and how the audience will perceive you. Think about how clear and confident you will be in giving your presentation and the response you will receive.

5.       Gain experience – Your presentation is part of gaining experience in giving presentations and building your portfolio, creditability and authority in the topic that you will be presenting.

6.       Arrive early – Take time to walk around the room, become familiar with the layout, practice using the microphone and visual aids with a partner if possible so, you can check if the audio and visuals are clear from different parts of the room to ensure the audience can hear and see the presentation.

7.       Greet the audience – By greeting the audience this gives you time to relax while checking the audio and giving the Audio department the time to adjust the microphone level so, you will be heard clearly.

8.       Take control - Take some deep breaths and control your breathing in order to take control of the nervous feeling you may experience rather than letting the nervousness control you. Turn nervousness into positive energy and let the positive energy turn into enthusiasm which will be transferred to your audience.
9.       Don’t focus on shortcomings – your audience doesn’t know what you’re going to say so, they won’t know if you forgot to say something and they don’t know if your body language is part of what you’re trying to convey. If you make a mistake the important part is to recover from it. For example, if you do a face palm, work that into your presentation with humor or a comment and move along with the rest of your presentation.

10.   Focus on the topic – the audience took their time to come and hear what you have to say because they feel you are an intelligent person that is willing to share something with them to help them become more successful.

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