Oh the idea of public speaking.  Delivering presentations.  To strangers or to people you know. Fear around public speaking is one of the most common causes of anxiety in small business owners. Yet it is one of the most effective ways to attract new clients by way of giving you a platform in which to promote your products and services.

The symptoms are familiar. Sweaty palms. A racing pulse. A dry mouth.  A dislike of public speaking is extremely common and it is caused by racing thoughts – either conscious or unconscious ones. Usually driven by the dreaded “what if THIS happens?” An imaginary projection into the future which often has no basis.  Common thoughts include a fear of rejection (what will people think of me?), your mind going blank, freaking out, being flustered, losing your train of thought and forgetting what you are about to say.

Some people’s fear of public speaking may have involved a previous occasion when the experience for that person may not have been pleasant. Perhaps at a school play when you forgot your lines. Or tripped on the stage and people laughed. Or when you delivered a presentation at a conference and your mind went blank and you became flustered.  That sort of thing. Avoidance of delivering a presentation for fear of what may happen is common place. Unfortunately you are then taking away a potentially lucrative platform for attracting more business.

Remember that the first impression you give to audiences – whether it be to 1 person, a handful, or many – tends to stay in people’s minds for a long time. It also only takes around 3 seconds to 3 minutes for someone to create an initial first impression of you that can be very hard to shift afterwards.  Nerves can prevent you from making a glowing first impression on your audience. You want your audience to be impressed by what you are saying and how you come across so that they want to find out more about what you do.

Here are 5 tips to help alleviate nerves:

  • Before a presentation, take slow, deep breaths in through your nose (count to 10) and exhale through your mouth (count to 10). Repeat 10 times.
  • Say out loud to yourself “I CAN!” and repeat 10 times.
  • Do that again except now in front of a mirror.
  • Use bulletpoints rather than reading from a piece of paper. It helps you to just talk to your audience and maintain a connection with them.
  • Visual rehearsal. Play a movie in your mind of the successful end result of your presentation. People come up to you and ask for your business cards and a meeting. They tell you that they really enjoyed it. Really see those smiling faces, hearing their kind words and feeling good about yourself.

And the final tip…. Practise, practise, practise!!

In the next instalment, we will look at the “The Benefits of a Quiet and Peaceful Mind. How Stillness Leads to Creativity, Insight, Greater Achievements and Inner Peace.” In business this is essential in helping you come up with ideas, implement those ideas, form a structure and achieve your goals.

In the meantime, if you would like to find out more about what we have talked about, feel free to have a look at my new book, “Win Clients with Ease: Discover the Powerful Mindset Behind the Scenes” available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Win-Clients-Ease-Discover-Powerful/dp/1527201821/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1511870132&sr=8-1&keywords=desi+christou