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Speaking Tips: 5 Ways to Calm Your Nerves

Asking people if they “get nervous” when they have to stand up and speak is almost not worth asking. For most of us, the answer is a resounding “yes.”

As we begin to return to an in-person post-pandemic work environment, many of you will have important meetings, conference calls, or presentations on your calendar. Some of those communication opportunities will be mission critical to your success. So how do you take a step forward and prepare yourself to succeed?

Let’s answer that by hitting on a few simple, recurring themes here at The Latimer Group:

  • Set some goals for the session or the presentation. What do you want people to do when they leave the room? Figure out what you are trying to achieve.
  • Figure out who is in the room, and anticipate their questions, concerns, issues or objections. Know your audience.
  • Outline your message plan. What are the key points? What do you need people to remember?
  • Figure out the story first, before you design any slides or visuals or handouts. The slides are the visual representation of the story you choose to tell. So choose your story, then design your slides.
  • Practice. Don’t just stare at your notes or your slides in silence. Speak out loud. Practice what you want to say, especially the first few minutes of your presentation.

You want your confidence to increase? It doesn’t happen naturally. And contrary to popular opinion, speaking in public well is not an entirely natural gift. The best speakers I know work at it the hardest, just like any other skill.

Have a plan, and practice. Will that be enough to calm your nerves? For some of you, yes. For others, maybe not. But for all of us, some preparation and practice will get us to a better place. Even if it does not get you as calm as you hope to be, you will be calmer than you otherwise will be. And that’s a great start.

That’s enough for today. Let’s all get to work!

At The Latimer Group, we believe that great communication skills can change the world. We transform people and organizations with simple, repeatable techniques and mindsets. We teach persuasive communication skills through an integrated platform of corporate training, coaching, and eLearning. To learn more about how we can transform your organization, e-mail us at info@TheLatimerGroup.com

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