Her Paradigm Shift
Takes a new look at life and relationships in the home, in the office and in the world.
Susan Brauer giving "CHEERS to You"




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by Susan Brauer
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The Greatest Fear: Step #5 –Face Your Fear

Looking like the professional that you are (Step #4), and armed with slides that you know like the back of your hand, you are ready to deliver an effective presentation. The following tips will enable you to Face Your Fear of public speaking and successfully engage your audience.

Tip #1 – Check out the AV
Susan BrauerMake sure that arrangements for your Audio Visual (AV) equipment requirements are made far enough in advance of your presentation to ensure that your needs can be met. This will keep any unsettling last minute surprises from popping-up minutes before you’re to begin your talk.

My preference is a projector for use with a standalone computer or a laptop and a clip-on microphone. With my free-roaming style of presentation a handheld mike feels cumbersome and restricts my movements, and consequently, my communication with the audience


Tip #2 – Backup & stuff
Make sure that you bring your personal laptop with you in case there has been a misunderstanding about equipment needs, and also bring a backup copy of your presentation on a flash drive even if you’ve previously emailed a copy of your slides to the IT guy or presentation coordinator.

Take a watch/cell phone and a bottle of water with you. Strategically place both so they can be used when necessary without much fuss. Many meeting rooms don’t have clocks and it’s important for you to keep track because time flies when you’re having fun :), and you don’t want to be cut short (or dry-mouthed) in the middle of you talk. 

Tip #3 – Arrive early and RELAX
It’s my experience that issues with setup occur 80% of the time so arrive early for your presentation to familiarize yourself with the AV equipment and its operation. Place the first slide on the screen to make sure that all is going well and check out the microphone that you’ll be using. Susan Brauer

Arriving early also allows time for the speaker to “break the ice” with the people in the audience as they arrive and get settled in. Greet the people and SMILE. Make eye contact and chat with as many people as possible, creating a bond with the audience.

If for some reason you were not able to arrive early, don’t rush. Take the time that you need to set up your presentation. Calmly talk to the audience about the delay while you are setting things up, easing tension and allowing everyone in the room to RELAX.

Tip #4 – Only one person at a time
If you can express yourself in a logical, concise, and informative manner to one person, then you can successfully express yourself to an audience. The only difference between the two situations is the speaker’s own perception. In reality, no matter how many people there are in an audience, you only speak to one person at a time. 

Tip #5 – There are no monsters
Remember that you’re no longer in high school speech class with the audience sitting back waiting to laugh and call you names the minute that you make a mistake. The audience wants to be there.  Each individual is expecting that you’re going to supply information on a subject that will enrich his/her own interests, life, or performance on the job. They are rooting for you to be successful. The audience is on your side.

Choose to view the audience as positive and non-judgmental and you will be 99% correct. As far as the other 1% goes, there is just no pleasing some people, so stop worrying about it.

Tip #6 – Engage the audience
Well meaning advice from high school speech teachers instructing you to fight your fear of the audience by NOT looking at them and looking instead at a point in the back of the room just over everyone’s head, is nonsense!

Eye contact is THE way that you create the rapport needed to communicate your ideas to an audience. Strive to make eye contact with everyone so as not to allow anyone to feel left out. Engage each individual.

The reason why I prefer NOT to speak from behind a podium is that it’s easier for me to catch every eye if I’m in the midst of the audience. So, get out from behind the podium and move around!

Tip #7 – Questions
Don’t allow “High-Jacking.” If people interrupt your presentation reply with a smile, “Great question! I’ll be answering that at the end of my presentation.”

Leave 5 minutes for questions.  If no one raises their hand be prepared to bounce a question off the audience to stimulate some conversation.

Don’t be afraid to say “I don’t know the answer to that question but I’ll find out and get back to you with that information.” The audience likes honesty and will happily accept this answer. No one expects a person to know everything!

And most importantly, ALWAYS repeat the question so that the rest of the audience can hear what was asked.

In Summary: Effective presentation skills, once acquired, carry over into all aspects of personal interactions. An individual, who practices projecting a personal image of self-assuredness and confidence, does so in every area of professional and social relationships. So use the five steps for cultivating effective presentation/communication skills, Face Your Fear of public speaking and claim the recognition that you deserve! 


Tags: business, business cards, elevator speech, empowerment, empowering women, handshake, networking, networking skills, presentation skills, self improvement, Susan Brauer, visualization, women's networking, Organize data, Prepare material, Practice your message, Project your personal image, Face your Fears | Category: Her Paradigm Shift, empowerment, self, women

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Contact: Susan O. Brauer
c/o Dreamers Tapestry, Inc.
P.O. Box 207
Palos Park, IL. 60464  
Email: susan@dreamerstapestry.com
ph:  708.361.8017

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