Thursday, August 12, 2010

Presentaions- I'm scared to death to speak in public. I want to change this!!!

This is a article I found on presentations: I hope to overcome my fears.

Personal Branding Comes to the Rescue when Speaking Publicly

June 05, 2007

By Dan Schawbel and Lou Longo

Forty percent of all people are more afraid of public speaking than of dying. It is a national fear among students and professionals alike.

What can you do to alleviate this common stress factor? Start by investing time in building your brand and strengthening your confidence level. Everyone has a personal brand; they just need to discover, create and maintain it over time.

Personal branding defined: An individual's total perceived value, relative to competitors, as viewed by their audience.

The concept is broken into four elements: personality, appearance, competencies and differentiation. When these elements are integrated they become your core message. Your core message is unique to only you and is valued by members of your audience.

Personality: Your behavior, interpersonal communication skills and attitudes toward your audience.

Appearance: Your body language, clothing attire and overall posture.

Competencies: The technical skills that fulfill job requirements.

Differentiation: The factor that separates one individual from anther and leaves a lasting memory in the minds of the audience.

The personality element is most prominent when you are speaking publicly to either a small group or large audience. When speaking in front of an audience, your credibility is at stake and you will be judged based on members from your audience. The only way to truly linger in the minds of your audience is through personality and in this way you need to use the differentiation element to stand out from the hundreds of other voices they hear each day. This is a great opportunity to use your core message, with emphasis on personality and captivating your audience through creativity, real life examples or quotes. There are many great and talented public speakers out there, all having exceptional personal brands.

Have you ever listened to a speaker at an event or meeting that just blew you away? Did you walk out of there wondering where he or she got their training or how they were able to deliver such a great message? Then tell us, what was the message? You probably can’t remember? Four percent and 100 percent. A former colleague who always made us feel this way once gave me these numbers. He said, "People generally retain or remember four percent of the content of any presentation, speech or talk, but they always remember 100 percent of how they felt about it."

How can you have a similar affect on your audience regardless if it is five or 500 people? Prepare, relax, be yourself and then just do it. Some of the greatest football coaches will tell you that most games are won before the ball is even snapped and it is mainly a result of solid practice (preparation) and scouting (knowledge). If public speaking is either a new experience or not a currently a comfort zone, treat it like running or skiing. You do not want to start with a marathon or a black diamond, you want to ease your way in and soon you will be ready for anything.

Tips to remember.

1. Tell your audience a story that they can relate to and follow and do not be afraid to use yourself as an example when you can. Stories are not just for children—we all love a good book or movie especially when it grabs us early as we never want it to end. But it always does and then you are left with the memory of how you felt about it.

2. If you are not speaking about an experience or topic that you know flawlessly, be sure you have done your homework.

3. Be careful when quoting statistics unless you are absolutely sure about them or have the source as there could always be that one person that will try to challenge them during your talk.

4. Tell your story, your way, how you feel about it.

5. If you are not a data person then do not go up there with pie charts and graphs. It is not who you are and you cannot be something you are not either.

6. If you do not like reading from a script you can use cards. Cards are great for many people as it lets them keep their topics in good order and drive home key points.

You must decide what works best for you and then go out and do it. Think back to the very first time you ever drove a car when you were 15 or 16 years old. You were probably nervous, stiff and over-cautious and if you were like us, blew out a clutch while learning. Now, driving is natural and easy for you. Public speaking can be the same way. Whether it is a black diamond, exercising or driving a car, prepare, know the path, enjoy it and be yourself.

Dan Schawbel, personal branding spokesman, has motivated, advised and mentored both students and young professionals. He has preached, blogged and written articles for The New York Times and The Association of Career Development. Visit

Lou Longo, public speaking expert, teaches people and groups about life. His professional and personal experiences provide people with examples, lessons and recommendations on how to "Inspire First" so that the results you are looking for will naturally follow. And for when they don't, he'll show people how that can be valuable for you too. Visit

1 comment:

  1. Whenever I speak in public, I imagine everyone just wearing their underwear.

    ps- I love Jesus (not the Mexican, the other guy).