There’s no doubt about it, learning to become a better presenter will transform your life. That’s because public speaking is a skill that can unlock opportunities for you. Getting over public speaking anxiety and learning to give great presentations will do great things in your life.
It will help you feel more confident, it will encourage you to share more of yourself with the world, and you’ll be able to get buy-in for your ideas. And overall, you’ll connect more effectively with others, both in your professional and personal lives.
It’s a virtuous circle – your increased confidence will lead to more opportunities for growth and sharing, which will lead to more confidence and so on.
Physical symptoms of presentation anxiety
That’s because public speaking is stressful. Beforehand we can be crippled by anxiety and all the physical discomfort that entails: stomachaches, clammy hands, shortness of breath, sleeplessness.
And of course, during the presentation itself people can be plagued by doubts and stress, even blacking out or feeling that awkward out-of-body experience where we’re feeling so disconnected from our own body and thoughts that it’s like we’re controlled by a robot.
No question, public speaking is damn hard to do well. But the good news is that, actually, it’s good that it’s so hard. Here’s why. Because if public speaking were easy for everyone, then the great rewards that are awaiting you when you become a more competent and confident presenter just wouldn’t be there.
The value of public speaking
A wise person once said: “Master public speaking and one other thing, and you become unbeatable.” And it’s true. When you can hold forth on a topic and your audience can stay engaged and absorb your message, you shoot to the top of your field. And even if you’re not a particular expert on a topic, strengthening, and then sharpening, your ability to speak confidently and persuasively will become even more of an asset.
Taking steps to become a better public speaker, through books on public speaking, presentation skills courses, workshops or one-on-one coaching, will give you the upper hand.