Presenting to an Audience: How to gain Confidence and become Better | Karin Frei | Skillshare

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Presenting to an Audience: How to gain Confidence and become Better

teacher avatar Karin Frei, Ready to take control?

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

9 Lessons (23m)
    • 1. Introduction

      2:47
    • 2. Class outline

      2:10
    • 3. Remember that it is all about the audience

      2:35
    • 4. Prepare talking points

      4:25
    • 5. Choose how you want to come across

      1:33
    • 6. Practice, practice, practice

      4:29
    • 7. Appreciate the gift of being nervous

      1:02
    • 8. Harness your breath for persuasive public speaking

      2:40
    • 9. Closing remarks

      1:37
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About This Class

5 simple+powerful techniques with exercises that will help you gain confidence at presenting, improve your delivery, and unlock your professional potential

Do you feel uncomfortable presenting in front of an audience? Or is this something you are afraid of and even try to avoid doing?

After my MBA I took a job in strategy consulting with a lot of client interaction that involved presenting. Despite the success of our projects being closely linked to our ability to communicate effectively, this was the one area I got the least training on.

And the more I progressed in my career, the more important presenting became. Whether it was infront of customers, my team, the executive committee or even the full organization...

Like approx. 75 of the population, public speaking doesn’t come natural to me and I often suffered before putting myself out-there.

As you are doing today by taking this class – I went through a few trainings and tried a range of techniques until I found the ones that fundamentally changed how I feel about presenting, helped me improve my delivery and unlock my professional potential. 

In this class we will go through some of these powerful techniques to help you become more comfortable at presenting. 

If there is one message that I want you to take from today it s that Preparation and Practice are key. 

1 Remember that it s all about the audience 

2 Prepare talking points

3 Choose how you want to come across

4 Practice, practice, practice 

5 Appreciate the gift of being nervous

Bonus Chapter: Harness your breath for persuasive public speaking

This class is for any person keen on becoming better and more confident at presenting. My objective with this trained skill, is that you can fully flourish in your roles today and tomorrow and stop avoiding opportunities to present.

I just want to emphasize that there is a wide range of alternative and complementary techniques available and I'm not planning to cover all of them in this class. But please do let me know if you are interested in a specific technique and I d be happy to address it or refer you to a good source.

Meet Your Teacher

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Karin Frei

Ready to take control?

Teacher

Are you an ambitious professional keen to accelerate your career and add more value to your company Looking to learn the key skills required to become more effective and efficient at what you do or get ready for your next step? Then this channel is for you.

In these classes I will share with you the key tools that got me to Executive Level roles at a young age without compromising my personal life. I benefited from a fantastic training at a highly renowned University, MBA school, and a top tier Strategy Consulting firm. But many of the key skills I refined or acquired later on when taking on more responsibility in my roles, leading teams, becoming a working parent, and now starting my own business.

I'm excited about helping individuals like yourself unlock t... See full profile

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Transcripts

1. Introduction: Do you feel uncomfortable presenting in front of an audience? Or is this something you are afraid of and even tried to avoid doing? After my MBA, I took a job in strategy consulting with a lot of client interaction that involves presenting. Despite the success of our projects, being closely linked to our ability to communicate effectively. This was the one area I got the least training on. And the more I progressed in my career that more important presenting became whether it was in front of customers, my team, the Executive Committee, or the wider organization. I knew I had to figure this out. Like approximately 75 percent of the population. Public speaking doesn't come natural to me. I often suffered and felt that was putting myself in a vulnerable spot by speaking up or standing in front of an audience. Even if it was only a few people. As you're doing today. By taking this class, I went through a few trainings and try the range of techniques until I found the ones that fundamentally changed how I feel about presenting helped me improve my delivery and unlock my professional potential. In this class, we will go through some of these powerful techniques to help you become more comfortable and confident at presenting. Remember that it's all about the audience. Prepare talking points. Choose how you want to come across, practice, practice, and practice. Appreciate the gift of being nervous. If there is one message that I want you to take from today, it's that preparation and practice are key. This class is for any person keen on becoming better and more confident at presenting. My objective with this trained skill is that you can fully flourish in your roles today and tomorrow and that you stop avoiding opportunities to present. I'm carrying Fry and I work in strategy consulting and held several executive level roles. I'm a curious, ambitious, positive person and very importantly, I enjoy my personal time a lot. I have learned some valuable skills along the way that have helped me become more effective and efficient in what I do. And I'm excited to have the opportunity to share some of those with you. Distributions. 2. Class outline: For this class is project I asked you to choose one newspaper article and summarize it so that you can practice to present it. Yes, you've heard correctly, there will be a lot of presenting involved. If you're already thinking of quitting this class or running away, this class is exactly for you. This is your chance to practice in a safe environment where you are in flow control. After each chapter, you will have the opportunity to apply the skills learned in that respective chapter. That deliverable of this class's project is a video of your presentation. After all the practicing, if you feel comfortable, you are invited to upload it, or alternatively, you can share some of your learnings in the common section. Our agenda for today is, remember that it's all about the audience. Prepare talking points. Choose how you want to come across, practice, practice, and practice. Appreciate the gift of being nervous. I just want to emphasize that there's a wide range of alternative and complementary techniques available. And I will not be covering all of those in this class. But please do let me know if you're interested in a specific one and I'll be happy to address it or refer you to a good source. I decided to add a bonus chapter on breathing for persuasive public speaking. Because harnessing our breath is one of the least thought and yet most powerful vehicles in order to speak with confidence? Yes. 3. Remember that it is all about the audience: When we present, it's not about us. Our audience is primarily here because they can and want to learn something from us. And that's where our focus should lay. One in the preparation phase by putting the audience at the center, reflecting on who they are, what information would add value to them versus what information they already have and what we potentially need from them. Drafting a storyline, the covers, the aspects that are the most relevant to them. Communicating it in a way that they can easily understand, follow, and engage. Helpful at this stage in case you haven't yet done. So is my class on how to build a presentation like a pro, which gives you all the necessary tools to draft a storyline in an effective and efficient way. Tool shows before or while presenting the realization that it's not about us personally can help us take some pressure off. Audience is here because we have important information or insights to share or an interesting story to tell. Their vast majority of the audience wants us to succeed and succeed in sharing it. Otherwise, they wouldn't be here. If you have any doubts about this, observe your own thoughts when you attend the presentation next time. Let's imagine we're presenting a service to potential customers. We want them to leave the meeting knowing what the benefits of this service are and why they would benefit from it. The potential costumers are defocus, one, preparing and holding the presentation. Or let's assume we're leading a Town Hall. We want our team to leave the town hall motivated to work towards a joint goal. The team outcome are our focus. 4. Prepare talking points: A head of each presentation, we should plan what we want to say. In most cases, we want to share more information than what we have on our slides. If we even have slides, the purpose of talking points is to remember what we want to cover during the presentation and to keep us on track, I prefer not to use full sentences and instead just write down a few bullet points or words on a piece of paper that remind me of my content. This gives me some flexibility on how I structure my sentences, that they have the actual presentation. And I feel that it comes across less staged. Pure act of writing it down helps me remember it better. And they usually don't even take my physical notes with me. But some people prefer to write it down full sentences, which can be helpful if you're presenting in front of a wider audience and want to avoid making any mistake. In those cases, I recommend that you use a teller promoter and practice so many times until it comes across fairly natural. If we take the example of presenting our services to potential customers, we could write down the following talking points as an opening. Welcome, and why we're here. Personal intro could be, I am customer need difficulty to going on holidays with disease X. Benefit, accommodate your needs with appropriate activities, nutrition and treatments. Second benefit, join a community where you're not alone. Next steps. Opening in 2022 with some prime locations across Europe. And as the closing. Thank you. Or if we take the example of the team town hall, where we will communicate our corporate vision and new strategy. Then we want to make sure that we're a 100 percent on message. And it would make sense to write down the full sentences. As part of this step, we should also reflect on potential questions we might get from the audience and think how we could respond to them. It's hard to foresee all of the questions. But I'd like to at least go through this thinking. What might be a followup questions from what I just presented? What are areas that the audience could potentially disagree with? Or do they have a specific interests at heart? Let's say I'm presenting next year's budget. If I suddenly present a 50 percent increase in one product sale linked to a new marketing campaign. That audience might want to know what assumption I'm using to base this on, to ensure that it's reasonable. It might be wise to cover it directly in my presentation or I should at least be ready to address it when the question comes. And if I'm presenting the budget to my leaders, they likely want to see an aspirational number and could try to push me further. While if I presented to my sales team, I can expect them to be worried about having to achieve those targets and that they would prefer to have a more conservative budget. The more knowledgeable we are on a topic, the easier it is to respond to the audience's questions. But please know that it is often also acceptable to postpone the answer and tell them when you look at back to them with it. 5. Choose how you want to come across: It can be very impactful to actively decide how we want to come across when presenting. And ideally, we write those two or three attributes down. Remember, the focus is not on you personally, rather what experience or feeling you want the audience to have. If we take the example of presenting our services to potential customers, we might want to come across as knowledgeable, trustworthy, and engaged. Or if we take the second example of the team town hall, where we're communicating our corporate strategy and vision. We might want to come across as transparent the sizes, and excited by making a conscious decision on how we want to come across. We allow ourselves to align our wording, tone of voice, body language to it, and make it happen. 6. Practice, practice, practice: Practicing is an important step in becoming more comfortable and self-aware. With the right practice, we ensure that the content sets and that the key message has come across. But it can also help us with the following aspects. Increased communication clarity and use the adequate speak for the audience to follow. Reduce the use of vocal fillers, such as avoid speaking mistakes, example, poorly worded sentences, or pronounciation mistakes, especially in the case that English isn't your first language. Manage the timing of your presentation. Improve the stage presence, whether you move around or are hiding in the corner. Become more aware of your body language and distracting versus helpful hand motions. Increase eye contact versus looking at notes or slides. To start practice, we can go through the presentation alone until we feel that we mastered the content. We should then move to filming fairly quickly, which helps us pay attention to the different parameters that we just went through. Example the unconscious views of local fillers or at the level of eye contact. I know it can be very uncomfortable to see yourself on screen if you're not used to it yet. And I can imagine that many of you are also very critical and harsh with yourselves, but tried to see there's an opportunity to become more aware of your inner voices as well. And learn to be more gentle when giving feedback as if you're speaking to a friend and simply enjoy seeing yourself improve. At this stage, we could go through a complete separate training on how each of the parameters should theoretically look. But my recommendation is to just focus on the 12 to big things that you notice and work on those. Once they come completely natural to you, you can move on to the next one to two things. It can also be helpful to start observing other presenters and what they do particularly well, and start to adopt some of those behaviors that we liked. Next, we can present in front of one to two friends or colleagues and ask for honest but specific feedback. It is also helpful because we can see how we perform standing in front of a miniature audience. Whenever possible, we should also practice in the setting in which the presentation will take place to get familiar with the surrounding that holds whether it's a presentation on a large state or in a Digital Forum, it's a great way to test their equipment, like the lights or the projector. Learn how they work and think through a plan B in case something fails, the amount of practice required until it feels effortless will decrease. With experience. It's normal that more rehearsals are needed. In the beginning, I've heard of some TED speakers practicing their speech a 100 times. But you will also notice that the more presentations you give, the less practice you'll require. So you're really investing in your future. For a regular business meeting or team presentation, even this class, I will go through my content may be one to two times. What's key is, no matter if you're at the beginning or the end of this journey, It's to practice for so long until it feels effortless. I would probably recommend that you aim at doing about 10 dry runs for the first few presentations that you'll hold. 7. Appreciate the gift of being nervous: When we're nervous, our body prepares to fight or flee from a supposed threat and it boosts our adrenaline production. What we mainly notice is our heart beating faster, our body, our blood pressure rising, and our breath quickening. But what it also does is it increases our alertness and energy, which means that it helps us be more present, less likely to forget what we wanted to cover and bring our enthusiasm and passion across. Experienced speakers have learned to handle their nervousness and use it to enhance their performance. I can at least say that for myself. I've learned to be more mindful and recognize my emotions and what's happening in my body. And even be grateful for getting nervous. 8. Harness your breath for persuasive public speaking: The ability to harness our breath is one of the most important and least fault areas within public speaking. As Alison's or Farah, a former opera singer, very nicely describes in her HBS article, breathing is the key to persuasive public speaking. It's not about changing our voice, but about making it sound richer, fuller, and more confident, so that the power of our voice can match the power of our words. Start with a power pose. Put your feet, shoulder width apart, and raise your arms up over your head. Breathe in deeply. As you exhale. Slowly, lower your arms down to your sides and ensure that your ribcage stays where it is. Check that your shoulders are back and not hunched up behind your ears. You are now standing tall and resonating confidence. Put one hand on your belly and breathe in deeply. Thus your hand move. Ensure your breathing into your stomach and nod your chest. Then exhale slowly as if you're letting air out of a balloon. Purposeful, deep and slow breathing can signal your nervous system to calm down. And it's an absolute must do when feeling stressed or anxious. Once you're taking a full breath, don't hold it and use it to support your words. Let it out steadily while you're speaking. First, counting 12345, and then practice exhaling using real sentences. Let your voice resonate with a full supported sound. We notice when our breath trails off at the end of the sentence and creates a vocal fry. We should therefore breathing at the very least at the end of every sentence. But ideally after every punctuation, which is anyway, good practice to not speak to a rushed. 9. Closing remarks: In this class, we covered five powerful techniques to help you become more comfortable at presenting, improve your delivery, and unlock your professional potential. We've seen that strong preparation and practice are essential and the foundation of all of the techniques learned. Remember that it's all about the audience. Prepare talking points. Choose how you want to come across, practice, practice, and practice. Appreciate the gift of being nervous. We also learned the power of breathing for persuasive public speaking as a bonus chapter, I especially hope that you enjoyed that development your went through with this class project. And I really look forward to seeing some of the videos that you'll upload of your presentations or reading some of your learnings in the comment section. Let me know if you thought this class was helpful by liking it or sharing it with your friends, don't forget to follow me to stay up-to-date on my series of Skillshare classes. And also don't hesitate to give me feedback on what you would like to see more off. If you haven't done so, please check out my class on building a presentation like a probe, which gives you the tools required to draft the storyline in the most effective and efficient way.