If you’re like most people, standing on stage in front of hundreds of people is not exactly your happy place. But I’ve got a question for you, you know those moments in movies when the main character stands up and gives a speech that gives you goosebumps? I’m thinking William Wallace in Braveheart, Coach Boone in Remember the Titans, or Herb Brooks in Miracle.
Wouldn’t you love to be able stand in front of your audience and delivery a speech with such confidence and conviction like that? We’ve got good news. We’re here to help.
If you’ve been following us for any amount of time, you know that we love helping people design stunningly beautiful presentations. But at the heart of a successful presentation is more than just pretty slides. At the heart of an incredible presentation is one thing. It’s the presenter. It’s their ideas and their content. That’s why we’ve spent countless hours teaching individuals these exact steps to become more confident on stage, because we believe that your ideas deserve to be heard.
Let’s start with the science. Everything we’re about to share is based on the incredible research by Martin Seligman, a renowned figure in positive psychology. Seligman is an expert on resilience and in his years of research has identified three key factors that influence our perception of adversity and stress, and as you know, public speaking falls into that stress inducing category. What are those three things? We call them the three P’s of Presentations.
The Three P’s
Personalization occurs when we mistakenly shoulder all the blame in challenging situations. Permanence refers to the belief that things will never improve. Pervasiveness is the feeling that a negative experience will affect every aspect of our lives. These thought patterns can exacerbate presentation anxiety. But fear not, as we offer strategies to reframe these narratives and build your public speaking confidence.
When it comes to personalization, it’s important to remember that on every side of a presentation, there’s what’s in your control and what’s outside of your control. I’ve been speaking publicly for the last 12 years on a regular basis. A number of years back I was getting ready to set up for a big talk. I brought all the slides and tech that I needed, only to show up and realize that the information on the set up I was given was wrong. Instead of blaming myself for not double checking and bringing extra gear, all of which I probably should have done, I realized that mistakes happen, I was given the wrong information, and I moved on, more prepared in case this happened again in the future.
Spoiler alert: It happens a lot. So always be more prepared. But that’s another set of Presentation P’s that we’ll touch on in another blog.
Confident speakers conduct honest assessments, acknowledging both their successes and areas for improvement.
Permanence can be addressed by putting things into perspective. There’s a great test that I like to use: Ask yourself if the current issue will matter in five minutes, five hours, five days, five months, or five years. Realize that overemphasizing negative consequences is irrational and inhibits confidence. Shift your focus to the lasting benefits you can offer your audience, allowing your confidence to shine through.
Pervasiveness is the belief that negativity permeates all areas of life. It’s crucial to compartmentalize challenges and remember that everyone wears multiple “hats.” Don’t allow personal struggles to overshadow your professional life. By separating different aspects of your life and addressing setbacks individually, you can maintain confidence and perform at your best.
Recognizing these negative thought patterns of personalization, permanence, and pervasiveness is the first step toward becoming a more self-assured and confident public speaker. Armed with this awareness, you’re well on your way to winning the battle and delivering presentations with confidence.
If you’re eager to learn more about how our presentation design agency can support you from design to delivery, reach out to us today.