Why are so many people telling me they are ‘scared of presenting’?
The fear of presenting for some can mobilise their brain to take a ‘Bring it on’ attitude, whilst for others it can be absolutely paralysing emotionally. There’s just no way they are going to present, and they tell me they don’t care who says they should.
Fear of Presenting? Ot Something Else?
But is the fear really of ‘presenting’? I think not. When I delve in to the details with coaching clients on the root cause of their very real fear, 9 out of every 10 clients will tell me they’re ‘scared of failing’ or ‘I don’t want to look stupid’ and such like. And I completely agree with these perspectives. It’s the fear of failing, of feeling humiliated, feeling your boss or audience members think you’re a complete twonk who should NEVER present again.
Steve Jobs and Presenting Powerfully
Steve Jobs never claimed to be a powerful or amazing presenter. In fact, considering traditional beliefs about personality and style, he should never have graced the stage in front of an audience. But, whilst he wasn’t the most exciting presenter, his products were the real stars of his presentations. And it was his unique calmness, pausing between sentences and dry (possibly pre-rehearsed) spontaneity that won over even the toughest audiences.
One tool that most presenters simply don’t know about or unwittingly overlook is how to create a sense of ‘WOW‘ in their audience’s minds. Steve Jobs did this amazingly well. As you can see in the video clip, he chose to steer clear of announcing ‘Hey everybody, we’ve developed a new computer‘, and instead used an everyday office envelope to prove just how fantastically slim and sexy the new Macbook Air laptop is. THIS demonstration and dramatic, yet supposedly informal revelation of the product is what really stole the show. Poking fun at Apple’s competitor helped a little too, but fun was only poked as Jobs could prove beyond doubt that the product his company had produced, was thinner and slimmer than their competitor.
OK, thinness and slimness may not be important to you personally as a laptop buyer, but did you notice the response from audience members when he announced these features? Not Benefits, but features? They loved it! Not necessarily because it was such a brilliant thing, but because it was new, it was different, and it appeared that something that was already seen as ‘market leading’ in terms of the competitors product, had now been surpassed.
What about you? What about your presentations? How can you enhance the quality and resonance of your presentations?