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So you got the job, the money is good, the coworkers are friendly, your boss likes you, and then it happens. You feel your throat hit your stomach, and your heart skips a beat. You have been asked to do the last thing on earth that you would ever want to do...yes, give a presentation...in front of your peers, no less.

“Why did the boss pick me?” you ask yourself. Chances are you have been doing such a fine job that it has been recognized, and management wants you to share your natural talent with your peers so they can learn how you are so extraordinary.

Public speaking is the number-one fear that human beings have; it ranks higher than death, heights, and fire. Yes, there are people who would rather catch on fire and fall to their death from a 30-story building than speak in front of a crowd. And it’s even worse if they know the people in that crowd.



I have been speaking in front of groups for many years, and the same thing that stops people from wanting to open their mouths drives me to speak with passion. It is this speaking with passion that touches people and leaves you remembered long after your presentation is through. It does not really matter what you are speaking about; when people see you are passionate about your subject, they will remember and respect you.

Your presence conveys the largest portion of your communication to your audience - 58%. The way you say the words conveys 35%, and the words you use only 7%. What does this mean to you? I like to say “fake it till you make it” or “act as if.” If you fake being confident in front of a crowd while presenting or you act as if you are confident, chances are you will become confident, and your butterflies will fly away.

The old saying “imagine the audience is naked” is probably not the best idea if you are nervous. Your audience wants you to succeed, and if you like your audience, they will like you. Your charisma and energy will be contagious, and when you are able to relate to the audience, they will relate to you and see your good character. This will send any remaining butterflies in your stomach off to the field to fly where they belong.

It is okay to use an outline, but never read a speech verbatim off of a piece of paper. You should be familiar enough with your topic before your presentation that just short notes to yourself will suffice. Arrive early enough to the presentation so you are not rushed and can relax before your presentation. Visualize yourself giving a masterful presentation and then see the audience applauding your efforts. This exercise is a crucial ingredient in the success of any endeavor. If you ever watch Michael Jordan before a free throw, he makes the basket in his mind before he shoots the ball. I have given thousands of speeches in my mind…and they were all huge successes!

When you are ready to give your presentation, take a deep breath and just begin talking like you are talking to a group of friends at the local tavern - just keep the language appropriate to your audience. Cover everything that you planned on covering and in the order you planned on covering it. Be sure to look your audience in their eyes. This will really allow you to connect with your audience and make them feel touched by you. Be careful with your “ums” and “ahs.” Relax and have fun.

Soon enough, that round of applause that you envisioned will be a reality, and you will be back in your seat, safe and sound. This is now the time to imagine your audience naked. Congratulations; you have given a powerful presentation.

About the Author

Louis Lautman is a business consultant, life coach, and peak-performance expert. He is the president of International Sales University, a sales-training company based in Miami, FL. He runs extraordinary public and private seminars to create breakthroughs and transform people’s lives. Louis can be contacted at 813-380-7467 or louis@internationalsalesu.com. Check out his website at www.internationalsalesu.com.

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 management  human beings  presence  congratulations  communication


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