Most of us have been through it. Those moments before you are called up to the lectern to speak. It’s too late to run away or call in sick. You’re trapped. You curse yourself for the decision to put in that abstract. You curse the people who talked you into it. All the clever ideas and killer lines don’t seem so great any more.
Your heart is starting to beat fast. In fact it’s thumping around in your chest. You’re starting to sweat. Your hands have become clammy and the room is suddenly very stuffy.
You fiddle with your notes to make sure they’re all there. While you’re fiddling you drop them so then you have to re-organise them. Again. You struggle to pick them up because your fingers have turned into paws and they’re not connected to your brain any more.
Your brain is working overtime but it’s just showing re-runs of horror movies. You falling over as you walk to the stage. You standing there and no words coming out. The audience laughing at your open fly. The impossible questions. Or worse – the easy questions, and you stuffing them up.
And then it’s your turn. The next twenty minutes pass in a blur. You manage to get through it without major disaster and promise yourself that you’ll never do this again or at the very least you’ll be more prepared the next time.
Most people have had one or more experiences like this. It’s not fun and it’s no wonder many people avoid making presentations. But it doesn’t have to be like this.
There are some techniques you can learn that will take the terror out of giving presentations and with practice turn you into an accomplished presenter. This website and the accompanying book will tell you what they are.