Thanks for checking back in for part 3 in our series Overcoming Public Speaking Fear: Strategies for Success. Over the past few days we’ve been looking at how you can be prepared in three key areas for each of your presentations. We’ve tackled the prep, we’ve walked through the actual presentation and today we’re talking through what comes next. Let’s dive in.
Imagine this with me:
You’ve been prepping for this moment for months. You’ve practiced and prepared well for your talk. You’ve made sure you all your breathing habits and movement during the talk helped keep you calm. You remembered all your points and the biggest win, you had Ethos3 build your PowerPoint, so everything on the tech side went smoothly.
You say the words, “thank you” and head to move off stage but you’re stopped because all of the sudden the crowd erupts in applause. People are coming up to you asking when your book is coming out. They’re saying things like “we’ve never heard such an intelligent and eloquent speaker!” “Can I have your autograph!?!”
Ok – let’s be honest. That didn’t happen. And the odds are it never will. But that doesn’t mean your presentation wasn’t a success. That doesn’t mean that the journey you’re on to become a better speaker is stalled out. This is all a part of the journey. And while the prep and the delivery are the parts of speaking that most people think about, the battle is not over yet. You’ve just entered the final phase.
Phase 3: After You Speak
You’ve successfully delivered your presentation. While you may still feel a residual surge of adrenaline in your body, the overwhelming “fear” you experienced earlier has likely subsided. What you do next is so important to make sure that you’re even more confident for your next talk.
Practice positive reinforcement.
When reflecting on your presentation, it’s easy to focus on everything that didn’t go exactly to plan. However, I encourage you to resist that urge. Instead, take the time to acknowledge and reward yourself for a job well done. Treat yourself to a visit to your favorite coffee shop, go for a brief walk if time permits, or jot down a few things that went exceptionally well. By creating a positive experience immediately after your presentation, you are actively shaping how your brain encodes the event.
By rewarding yourself, you’re telling your brain that you’ve done a good job, that this wasn’t a dangerous situation, and that you’re not afraid to do things that stretch you. By rewarding yourself enough times, you’ll actually start to look forward to these events!
Ask for feedback
As I mentioned before, you’re probably being too hard on yourself. That stutter or pause feels way bigger to you than anyone else in the room. The moment you had to look down at your notes felt like an eternity. The reality is – that without lots and lots of practice you can’t be a fair judge of your own talk. That’s why it’s so crucial to have trusted advisors in your life who can sit with you, take notes, point out what worked really well and what might need some refining.
Two things for this person:
1. They need to be a seasoned speaker. Without this – they won’t really know what to critique and they’ll focus on the wrong areas.
2. They need to be trustworthy. Speaking is a vulnerable experience. You need to guard who you listen to and who you don’t.
Ask for more opportunities
The last thing to do now? Ask for more opportunities to speak. The only way to get better is to keep practicing. All of these tips and tricks work like compound interest. They get better and better over time. You’ll get better and better over time. And remember, you’re up there speaking because you have something the world needs! No one benefits from you keeping all your knowledge to yourself. So step up and step out!
And remember, your friends here at Ethos3 are always ready to help. If you’re ready to deliver your next big presentation with confidence, let us know! Discover how Ethos3 can empower you with our presentation content, design, and delivery training. Take the next step towards unlocking your full potential and making a lasting impact. Contact us today and let’s embark on this transformative journey together.