Why are we afraid of presentations

Afraid of lectures? 5 tips that really help against it!

Inexperienced speakers in particular are all too familiar with the queasy feeling when a lecture is due. However, the panic in front of the podium is usually unfounded. We give tips to alleviate the nervousness before the first lecture.

Giving lectures is part of everyday business in very few professions and can quickly cause sleepless nights for speakers with little routine. The rhetoric guide has been searched, the documents checked three times and a deep breath taken - but the nervousness remains and your own imagination paints colorfully what can go wrong.

Here are these Horror scenarios not just improbable. They can also be quickly dispelled by simple tricks. Positive side effect: none Stage Fright the lecture will be much more pleasant for both the speaker and the audience. Below are five typical beginner fears and how to counter them:

1. Preparation is overrated, improvise!

The last PowerPoint slide appears on the wall, but the clock is taking its time and the audience is looking at you expectantly. Too little preparation is the main concern of most speakers. However, experience shows that too much material is prepared and the lecture is too detailed or even that time limit covers. So above all, stay calm:

You are invited as an expert and usually know more than your audience anyway. What even you have to read first is of little interest to your audience.

If there is an embarrassing silence in the hall, there are various counter-strategies. Look back at your presentation one more time and summarize yours central message in a nutshell. Or tell one anecdote on the lecture topic from practice and ask your audience about similar experiences.

Almost a must at the end of the lecture: give your audience the opportunity to Ask questions and make some yourself. A yes-no question at the beginning, which you put to the vote with a handheld, breaks the ice.

2. Help, experts! No, interlocutors.

A specialist on your lecture topic among the audience is no reason to panic. Rather enjoy this compliment and integrate them into the action when the opportunity arises. If you mention their work in your talk, feel free to express your joy at their presence.

If the expert asks you complex questions, it is best to answer briefly and factually. Offer them - out of consideration for the less specialized participants - one personal discussion after the lecture. This also gives you the opportunity to get to know the expert personally.

EXTRA: Stage fright? Tips to make positive use of the excitement

3. Rest in the cheap places!

What to do when in the audience Disruptors sit who sabotage their own lecture with heckling or question the statements? Basically, do not justify yourself. Rather, take the side of your audience. Ask if your audience agrees with the critic. If so, the subject obviously needs more Explanations. Otherwise, you can just ignore the objection.

Also unpleasant hecklers you can take the wind out of your sails like this. Ask complainers to stand up and clearly repeat what has been said. Most shy away from the sudden Publicity and prefer to keep quiet afterwards.

4. You feel good in your own skin

Every speaker would like to appear personable and competent in their presentation, and that too funny be and to look good. What helps: stay with yourself. who authentic acts, usually feels most comfortable. Because a lecture is the wrong occasion for acting experiments.

You have to focus on too many things to be able to play a role at the same time. So give yourself as you are.

The same applies to clothing: Dress appropriately for the occasion, but stick to it usual style. If you are uncomfortable, you will move unnaturally or maybe even tug at your clothes. So better choose a compromise between Feel good and Dress code. So you have your head free for the lecture.

5. Show instead of talking

It's not that difficult to grab your audience's attention. Concentrate on the essentials in your presentation central message and present them as lively as possible. And take care of entertainment. Not with cheap or convulsive jokes, of course.

But before you do more Background facts do your research, prefer to use the time for:

  • a vivid one graphic
  • a striking one example
  • an interactive one Started

Not only does it go down well with the audience, it also makes the content stick better.

For this, renounce:

  • cumbersome evidence
  • Detailed analysis
  • complex statistics

A little referencewhere your audience can look up these details is sufficient.

EXTRA: Stunning rhetoric: this is how you get your audience going

This brief synopsis shows: The dull feeling before the first lecture is mostly unfounded and prospective speakers can get their nervousness under control with simple means.

If you feel panic at the thought of your presentation, first ask yourself why.

Only when you have the root causeyour fear you can take action against it. The most important thing is to stay with yourself, the audience as Allies to see and focus on the Key messages focus of the lecture. Newspeakers are well on their way to becoming experienced speakers.

Prof. Dr. Markus Nickl is the managing director and co-founder of the language consulting and service company doctima GmbH. The company creates professional texts for its customers - including technical documentation, web content and forms - and advises companies on optimizing texts and editing processes. As part of his extensive seminar program, he also offers coaching for better and audience-friendly presentations. I can find more of his tips at blog.doctima.de.