This series of presentation tips has been specifically designed to help you to present with authority, presence, and impact in any situation. We are heading towards the end of our journey together and I am conscious of the fact that the glue that holds all of these practical presentation skills tips together is confidence.
Regardless of age, position, or experience, the number one question we are asked by delegates at our presentation skills workshops is how they can feel more confident on their feet while presenting. There are many ways to reduce anxiety levels and to greatly increase your confidence when presenting or speaking in public, although the one that works best for me is one you won’t hear from your average presentation skills coach. The reason for that is because it sounds crazy. I know; it’s a shame, though, because it works.
Tip 10: Be a Superhero
Whether it’s something we feel we naturally possess or not, confidence is something we can all describe in some detail because even though we may not feel it we all know exactly what it looks like.
I grew up in the ’60s and ’70s, and in the early 1970s a character arrived on my TV screen. Little did I know, he would change everything for me. His name was Colonel Steve Austin, otherwise known as “The Six Million Dollar Man”; the world’s first “bionic man.”
After being terribly injured in an accident, his right arm, both of his legs, and even his left eye were replaced with “bionic” implants.
Those implants allowed him to run at 60mph (97km/h), he had superhuman strength, and his eye had a 20:1 zoom lens and infrared capabilities.
Steve Austin was my superhero back in the 1970s and helped me dramatically increase my confidence as a boy who certainly didn’t feel very confident in those days.
I knew it was fiction, but that didn’t matter at all. Because when I needed to do something that made me nervous or unsure of myself I asked myself the following questions:
Once I had the answers in mind I would apply them all to the situation I was in at the time.
- What would Steve do?
- How would Steve be thinking?
- How would Steve be standing, walking, and breathing?
- What would Steve look like?
Fast-forward 15 years and I found myself ambitiously climbing my personal career ladder. I knew that I would never succeed without having the confidence to present myself well in public.
To me as a young boy, Steve Austin, because of his superhuman abilities and character, was the epitome of confidence. Watching him, I knew exactly what it looked and felt like, and I knew that even though I didn’t have the “bionic” body parts I could still emulate his confidence.
When I’m on the platform presenting and speaking in public today I always take my childhood superhero with me.
As ridiculous as it may sound, it works.
Who is your superhero?
Watch out for Part 9 soon.
Did you miss Part 7? Click here. To start at the beginning with Part 1, click here. To go to Part 2, click here. To go to Part 3, click here. To go to Part 4, click here. To go to Part 5, click here. To go to Part 6, click here. To go to Part 7, click here.
Maurice De Castro is a former corporate executive of some of the UK’s best loved brands. Maurice believes that the route to success in any organisation lies squarely in its ability to really connect with people. That’s why he left the boardroom to create a business helping leaders to do exactly that. Learn more at www.mindfulpresenter.com