The mind shift that will be your presentation super power

Jane Sheffield
Lead Trainer & Owner
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I’ve been trying to figure out when I made the transition from uncomfortable presenter to comfortable presenter. When I stopped feeling self conscious and started to enjoy myself.  I’ve realised it was when I stopped making it all about me.

Before a speaking gig, I would focus heavily on what others were thinking of me. With thoughts such as:
“I hope they think I’m good at my job.”
“I really want to be seen as a fantastic communicator.”
“I want to smash this one!”

Sound familiar? Well, it’s pretty natural to worry about what others are thinking of you when you present. But the truth is, constant worrying about what others are thinking is not helpful.

Here’s why a self-centred focus can be fragile and risky.

If you are uber focused on how you are coming across, when things do go wrong they blow up…real fast.

I call this the ‘house of cards’ effect.

If you’re set on, “I hope they think I’m a good presenter” and something goes wrong, such as your voice starts shaking, your face goes red, or you realise there is baby spew on your shirt, it triggers an unhelpful spiral of thinking that’s difficult to recover from.

Thoughts such as “Everyone can see how nervous I am”, “they think I’m unprofessional”, and/or our biggest fear – “they think I’m a complete dick”!!!!!

But the reality is, it’s only you who’s stressing about this stuff.

Think about it – when did you last get upset with a presenter for a shaky voice, red face, or baby sick on their shirt? My guess is…rarely, if ever.
Now let’s compare that to the last time you felt frustrated with a presenter for wasting your time. All the time, right?

That’s because audience members are focused on what THEY are getting out of a session, not on what you look like, sound like, or are wearing. And if they are thinking negative thoughts about that baby spew? Well, that’s totally out of your control so why worry about it?

What to focus on instead:
Instead of focusing your energy on, “What will they think of me?”, develop a razor-sharp focus on what you want to ACHIEVE by giving the presentation. e.g, “My only focus today is to make my audience realise this system will make their jobs easier.”

Not only is this focus the reason you are there in the first place, it’s also a much healthier mindset. It allows you to dedicate your preparation time and energy to the results you’re after, rather than how you are being perceived.

But be warned, this is not a natural setting. It’s one you’ll need to put some effort into. But when you walk into a room to speak with this ‘results over perception’ mindset, it’s insanely liberating and incredibly effective.

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