Making presentations of speaking in public is the second biggest fear worldwide. That’s why I’ve written this article about presenting publicly with NLP.
The idea of publicly presenting sometimes drives fear into people so badly that they will get ill instead of making that performance. Sometimes it can even be a phobia of speaking in public places.
There are a few things to consider before we look at how to eliminate fears from standing in front of others and speaking. Firstly, you have to come t terms with what your reality is and why you have the fear. Then we can look at what your intention is for the presentation and whether it’s worth the hassle or not?
I recently started working with a successful corporate employee who gets through this problem by having loads of slides and just presenting as if no-one is there and is just surviving point A to point Z.
Of course, that strategy will get you to the end without dying, but how effective is that presentation going to be? You will not have an engaged audience and will definitely have no buy-in from the people there. They will just feel like cardboard cut outs.
Here’s what I notice when I pose this question to fearful speakers. Their strategies during a speech include things like:
- * End the speech as soon as possible
- * Avoid any pauses or interruptions during the speech
- * Avoid contact with the audience
- * Hide the fact that they are afraid by using loads of notes and slides
These all involve efforts to resist and fight public speaking anxiety. They also involve efforts to resist the role of speaker, and to avoid using all the powers that come with being a speaker.
So how do you do anything about this fear?
Firstly, the most powerful thing you can do is to use what we call perceptual positions.
Before you even look at your notes for the training, go out into the audience in your mind and be them looking back at you. What do you see, hear, feel and think from them? What questions do they have – what do they want to see/hear/feel?
Then take another perceptual position, this time from above. What do you notice from this position: Explore this place and ‘hang out’ there as long as you wish to gain different perspectives. Notice how your original images and ideas about the group and you have already changed.
Now change position again and stand in a meta-position to you (what we may call a coaching position). Start to coach yourself how to be, what to look for and the new understandings that you gleamed from the other positions. Make sure you coach yourself well enough that the new angles have been recognised and integrated into the presenter (you).
Next you’ll need a bullet proof state to carry you through. We call this the ‘Now State’ or peripheral vision (or even The Hakalau from Hawaii).
Here’s the videos on how to achieve this state:
You will also need some sensory awareness to make contact with your audience and see the feedback – yet these are outlined in our presentation skills product.
With these tools in place, it’ll give anyone a fighting chance. If it’s your first presentation or you haven’t had much experience (or even if you have), we have a fantastic set of MP3s to download on Presenting skills.