How To Overcome That Fear When Presenting At Work

Presenting is one of those areas that some love, some do and some avoid.

Whenever I’m running a workshop, one of the things that seems to come up over and over again is fear.

Perhaps that’s not surprising.

All the eyes are on you.

You want to do a great job and get a lot of positive feedback.

I’m often asked by delegates how they can overcome the fear and instead feel really confident.

Here’s the thing, the nerves never completely disappear.

You just tend to get better at managing them.

So if you are looking to overcome that fear of presenting at work, what can you do?

Think Less About Yourself

I wish it wasn’t the case but often a lot of the fear comes from being too focused on yourself.

I always pose a question in workshops.

The question – who is the least important person when presenting?

The answer (which most get) is yourself.

Harsh – maybe.

On the other hand if you think about it totally understandable.

You are only presenting because there is an audience.

They are the most important people when you are presenting.

Focus 100% On Your Audience

If you do it takes the focus away from you.

Your attention moves to making it the best possible experience for your audience.

Get to know as much as you can about them.

Find out what they like and don’t like when in a presentation.

Keep their needs front of mind when delivering.

Prepare To Succeed

People sometimes believe that it’s all about what you do when delivering your presentation.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

As much as 90% of your success as a presenter comes from what you do before you present.

The time you spend get clear on your goal, your audience research, the content you could and will deliver and structuring the presentation.

Doing this sets you up for success and reduces the fear of failing.

See Yourself As Always Being Work In Progress

There’s always little changes you can make to be a better presenter.

You never really are the finished article.

If you can see each presentation as another step in your journey to being an effective presenter, it reduces the pressure on you.

Accept Reality

When you present at works:

  • Some will love
  • Some will be okay with it
  • Some will hate it

While it might be great to have everyone loving what you present, this rarely happens.

My rule of thumb is that if you can get 70% of your audience happy with what you presented and how you presented, it’s a good outcome.

If you are looking to get better at presenting, check out my no cost video course.

About the Author Duncan Brodie

Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 8,000 accountants and professionals in workshops, seminars and one to one helping them land their next jobs and become better leaders, presenters and business partners. Before that I spent 25 years in accountancy climbing the career ladder from Payments Clerk to FD. I’m a CIMA Fellow, Certified Professional Coach and Team Coach Facilitator.

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