Why try to fool ourselves? Presenting to a group is fraught with uncertainty. If you want to know exactly what will happen at every moment, you’d be better off hiding in the closet. Here’s the secret for feeling confident in every situation…

In spite of extreme risks and rampant uncertainty, giving presentations and speaking in public are a part of every professional’s life. Certainly as you progress in your career, you can expect to give more presentations. And each public speaking event is likely to present more challenges and more uncertainties than the last one.

What’s the best way to cope with the unknowns?

Hmmm…does pushing the variables under the rug work?

Nope.

Let’s see. How about sneaking out the side door and letting someone else deal with butterflies and nervous jitters?

Not if you want to rise to the top.

Face the facts. The best coping strategy is not ignorance. Or avoidance. Yet, many professionals use these strategies when it comes to presenting and speaking to groups.

There is an alternative.

Learn and use a systematic approach to build remarkable presentations. Follow a simple plan to produce exciting and engaging talks. The big mistake that many subject matter experts make is: heading into a presentation without a systematic process.

No wonder the alternatives of hiding or avoiding look so attractive.

Just about everything that works well in business is a system. You have a system for strategic planning, project management, and sales efforts. Why wouldn’t you have an equally thought through system for presenting?

The only reason that consistently pops up for NOT having a presentation system is: assigning ‘presentations’ into a category of ‘unimportant.’

If one believes that presenting is not a valuable use of time, then it would make sense to not have a system for doing it.

But that’s just foolish. One 5-minute presentation in front of the right people could do a whole lot more for your career than 5 years behind a desk. You could get a promotion, seal a deal, or get funding for your dream project. One presentation could unlock doors that would never be touched if you remain hidden deep in research.

Just last week I coached a woman who was struggling with this very issue. She had so many ideas for her 1-hour talk, that she could have easily written a 700-page book. Without a proven process, she spent hours dissecting ideas, jumping from one topic to the next.

In a short time together, we whittled down the massive volume to a few key concepts and a single theme. Instead of tearing her hair out, she was able to breathe a sigh of relief.

“This process was incredibly helpful! I never could have done it without you.”

Presenting in public can be scary and daunting. There are unknowns and risks. People may sit in stony silence. Participants may ask uncomfortable questions. Problems may emerge that you aren’t sure how to answer.

But with a solid system to plan your story, share your ideas, and guide interaction…you will feel ready to take on the unknown. Interested in building your confidence and growing your presentation skills?

Author's Bio: 

Milly Sonneman is a recognized expert in visual language. She is the co-director of Presentation Storyboarding, a leading presentation training firm, and author of the popular guides: Beyond Words and Rainmaker Stories available on Amazon. Milly helps business professionals give winning presentations, through Email Marketing skills trainings at Presentation Storyboarding. You can find out more about our courses or contact Milly through our website at: http://www.presentationstoryboarding.com/