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How would YOU rate your public speaking skills? What do celebrities know that you can learn from? Self-perception is truly the first place to look when creating a presentation. Yes, this means before you create the content!

Ask yourself, “How do I feel when I am normally around this group?” If your answer is that you feel empowered by them, like you are an expert in your area, then chances are that will carry over into your presentation. If there are a few people in the group that make you nervous, or that may question your authority, that can easily shake your confidence creating a speed bump to your successful presentation.

This question is often brought up when I am working with groups. “When so-and-so is in the room, he makes us all nervous!”

Overcoming this conditional confidence, when a person or situation makes you, more nervous than “usual,” is as empowering as a standing ovation.

Recognize it. Notice how your blood pressure rises a little when you think of this person or situation. Consider what it is that has you giving them your power when YOU are the expert and YOU have been asked to give a presentation. Why allow one or two people ruin your mojo?

Confront it. Taking the leap to approach that person and “confess” is sometimes very empowering. It could sound like, “Sam, I’m presenting the new plan tomorrow at the team meeting. And when I think of you sitting in that room, it makes me want to do an even better presentation than I know I can. Do you have anything specific you think I should cover? Or any insight about the others in the room?”

By asking for that person to become an ally in the success of your presentation, you’ll gain a long term fan. You’ve given a nod to their expertise, shown you are open for feedback, and faced the fear that may have sabotaged you the next day.

Chances are, when you are in the middle of your presentation and glance their way, their smile will encourage you to keep going as you give a presentation full of confidence and allow your sparkle to shine through!

-by Adora English

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