Tag Archives: goals

Anxiety When Speaking? That’s Actually Good

Anxiety when speaking may actually be good!

Originally published with the Forbes Coaches Council at Forbes.com on June 9, 2017.

The question I’m asked most often in workshops and coaching sessions is, “I get really nervous when I present; can you help me eliminate my anxiety?” And my answer is that having at least some anxiety is actually a good sign. It means that, at that moment, you’re engaged. You are plugged into your audience and your message. It means you care.

In addition to my work with The Latimer Group, I spent 18 years deeply involved with the US Olympic Sailing Program, first as an athlete, then later as the Chairman and Team Leader. I competed at an elite level and spent eight years leading the program through two Olympic Games. And I have seen anxiety in many forms.

Anxiety can come from a fear of failure, it can come from the realization that you are not ready, and it can simply come from caring a lot. I have seen elite athletes, ranked among the best in the world, who know they are good, vomit before they compete. Their anxiety does not come from a place of self-doubt. In some cases, the anxiety simply comes from a heightened level of competitiveness.

Now, if your anxiety comes because you know you are not ready to present, because you have not practiced, or because you know you do not know what you are talking about — well, in that case, the answer is simple. Get your act together, prepare and practice. But if anxiety comes even though you have prepared, then it’s from another place, and you have to learn how to manage it.

The bottom line is that preparation and practice are required. And if, even then, you still have some anxiety, you simply have to realize it is probably never going away. Some anxiety is a good thing, after all. Here are some steps that always help manage that anxiety.

1. Set clearly defined goals for your presentation. What’s the purpose of your presentation? What do you want your audience to do when your session is over?

2. Know your audience. Who are the key people in the room? What’s important to them? Are you able to anticipate their potential questions, objections or concerns?

3. Know your message. What are the most important parts of your message plan? What key points are you trying to make? If your audience takes nothing else from your presentation, what elements must they remember?

4. Add visuals. After you decide what your story will be, then build your slide deck, handouts or visual aids. Make sure the slides are augmenting your story, rather than determining it.

5. Practice. Practice out loud. Don’t just read your slide deck or notes silently. Actually say the words you plan to speak — especially the first few minutes of your presentation.

Don’t worry about eliminating your anxiety entirely; remember, some anxiety can be a good thing. Instead, focus on being prepared, practice, and have a plan to manage the anxiety so it does not debilitate your performance.

Good luck!

At The Latimer Group, our individual Coaching services are highly customized and designed to help you achieve your specific goals. Typical engagements focus on developing skill sets in Leadership Communications, Public Speaking, and Executive-Level Business Presentations. To learn more, e-mail us at info@TheLatimerGroup.com

Photo/license.

FacebooktwitterlinkedinmailFacebooktwitterlinkedinmail

To Be More Persuasive, Look Beyond the Façade

Today’s post was written by Amy Fenollosa, Director of Learning at The Latimer Group. The city of Lyon, France may be best known as the gastronomic epicenter of world; with phenomenal chefs and outstanding restaurants, people travel the globe to sample the rich Lyonnaise food. While I was there last week to teach Executive Communication Skills… Continue Reading

Parenting, Professionalism, Principles, and Personal Accountability

(Note: This post was originally published in June of 2016, but as many people are setting new goals for a new year, we thought it was worth revisiting. Enjoy!) My wife and I were recently organizing a box of keepsakes we have been collecting over the last few years. Birth announcements, first report cards, self… Continue Reading

Controlling The Voice Inside Your Head, Part 2

We recently wrote about that voice of insecurity that comes into our heads when we are experiencing self doubt. We all know that voice. Some of us hear it more often than others, but we have all heard it… the voice that says you aren’t good enough, you aren’t ready, you are going to under-perform.… Continue Reading

Controlling The Voice Inside Your Head

Note: We recently added to this post an audio version, as the latest installment of our Soundwaves podcast. Listen via the audio player at the bottom of this post, and be sure to check out the entire library of Soundwaves episodes available on iTunes, or via your favorite podcast player. There is this voice inside… Continue Reading

Great Communication as PART of Your Brand

In all of our workshops, we always ask participants their goals for the session. We get lots of great answers to that query. The participants in our workshops almost always come with ambitious and lofty goals. And one theme we frequently hear is that the people we work with want to have great communication skills… Continue Reading

What Are They Saying About You When You Leave the Room?

Today’s post was written by Amy Fenollosa, Director of Learning at The Latimer Group. That’s the question we posed in a two-day personal branding workshop we taught last week. Everyone has a personal brand, whether they acknowledge it or not. At The Latimer Group we describe personal brand as Fingerprints. Everyone leaves an impression on the… Continue Reading

For Better Team Alignment, Don’t Forget This Critical Step

In an earlier post, we talked about the first critical step towards creating a well-aligned, motivated and productive team. You must have a clear direction, mission or goal for that team to be aligned around, before you have any hope of having an aligned team. What’s the second critical step? Well, at the risk of… Continue Reading

Be Specific About the Tasks You Need to Succeed

As some of you may already know, I spent several years training for the 2000 US Olympic Sailing Team that competed in Sydney, Australia. My teammates and I eventually finished 2nd at the Trials and failed to qualify for the team. But it was a life-changing process that I still value today, nearly 20 years… Continue Reading

All content © 2016-2017

The Latimer Group, LLC
350 Center Place
Suite 106
Wallingford, CT 06492
Phone: 203.265.4344
Email: info@thelatimergroup.com