Learn how to present with confidence and deliver epic presentations
It’s the most common fear in the world. Most people would do anything to avoid public speaking or giving a presentation to a group of people. As managers we’re often expected to speak to a group of people, or it is assumed that we are not afraid of it. Sometimes we hold back from applying for jobs that we know we could do because there will be a greater expectation to speak in front of people. If we don’t feel like we can present with confidence we stop short. Fear of that one monthly or weekly presentation holds us back from achieving everything else that we’re capable of.
No matter what role you are in, you probably have to do a form of presentation at some point already. Maybe it’s presenting the weekly sales numbers on a Monday morning to your team of 3. Or perhaps you want to take on a new responsibility, but it will involve talking to a large group of people.
You probably sit in the audience of other people’s presentations and imagine that they are full of confidence, they appear completely at ease and cracking jokes and wandering around the stage as though they don’t have a care in the world. Maybe you’ve seen someone struggle with technical difficulties and just cringe at the thought that something like that might happen to you. And in the end you’re stuck with a big “NOPE” mindset around the whole thing.
Hardly anyone started out good at presenting
This isn’t a secret, and you already know it, but it needs to be said. Almost every great presentation that you’ve ever watched, or every good presenter that you’ve ever thought seemed like a natural didn’t start out that way. There’s a reason that senior leaders seem to be able to present with confidence. Why they look so polished when they deliver their message… they have had hours to practice. Often they have had professional coaches. And if not they have certainly had years of being in a position where they needed to deliver a LOT of presentations. They just got good at it in the end. It’s true that practice makes perfect.
Maybe it seems stupid, but I genuinely didn’t realise until a few years ago that even senior leaders practice their presentations. They actually practice to make it look like they haven’t practiced at all! Through the more junior years of my career I assumed that the CEO just got up on stage and started chatting through slides in front of 1000 people. It was only when I was trying to arrange a meeting with someone from PR on the morning of a big presentation that I found out that they would be spending the hours before the meeting rehearsing slides and script and jokes with the boss ahead of him talking to all of us. What a revelation.
Nobody wants to watch a bad presentation
I don’t say that to pile the pressure on you to deliver a good presentation. I say it because I have seen a lot of bad presentations. And I’m never sat in the audience criticising the presenter or laughing at their misfortune. I’m silently praying for things to turn in their favour. Everyone is.
You’ll know this is true yourself. You’ve seen a presentation where the presenter has forgotten their place or said something wrong. Or they had major technology issues that disrupted everything. Or where the nerves where just so obvious that you felt bad for them. But the point is that you didn’t judge them or think less of them. You wanted them to do well. To find their place and finish with confidence. Nobody wants to see someone bomb on stage.
How we can help
As a previous owner of a full blown presenting phobia, I can empathise. And I can also share with you how I overcame the terror. To give you an insight into my fear, on a Monday morning I used to have to present sales performance to 6 people. It would keep me up on a Sunday night, and I had to do it every week. On another occasion, I once left a job rather than deliver a presentation that I had scheduled to one of the senior managers. And if I had to stand up in front of more than 30 people, I would feel sick about it for weeks beforehand.
I really want to help you with this. I honestly believe that anyone can present confidently. And because it’s such a big fear for people, I think it’s one of the areas that creates the most pride when it’s overcome.
At the end of this page and in the members area I have shared two workbooks to help you to learn how to present with confidence. And if you need further support I have 1-2-1 coaching calls available.