While there is no instant way to make you a confident speaker, here are some tips to help you exude confidence rather than nervousness, and “fake it, till you make it.”
May 16, 2017 | by Costa Patronidis
Are you going to present a webinar and worried about suffering from nervousness? This is perfectly normal. Running a webinar can be nerve-racking. After All, the foundation of a successful webinar lies with the speaker and their content. Like many things in life, public speaking is a skill that is slowly improved over years of experience and practice.
Feeling nervous is not always a negative emotion - it shows that you care about delivering an effective webinar, and can even help bring life to your content! However, nerves become a problem when a presenter’s nervousness is evident to the audience, especially when it manifests itself in the form of nervous habits.
During an in-person presentation, habits like biting your nails, speaking too quickly and avoiding eye contact can distract your audience from where their attention should be - on your content. Putting these habits aside is important in appearing confident during in-person presentations, which in turn helps you gain the confidence of your audience.
When speaking in a webinar, you don’t have the luxury of connecting with your audience using confident body language, so any sign of nerves must be eliminated from the way you speak and deliver your presentation. While there is no instant way to make you a confident speaker, here are some tips to help you exude confidence rather than nervousness, and “fake it, till you make it.”
1. Practice Often
The more experience you have in public speaking, the better you’ll be - It’s as simple as that. Practice giving your presentation to friends, family, and co-workers, or practice alone by recording yourself or using a mirror. It’s important to be open to constructive criticism from your peers as this can help you identify any nervous speech habits you may have and work to improve on them.
Furthermore, be sure to memorize the general ideas and structure of your presentation. Memorizing it word for word can be problematic as forgetting one sentence may offset your entire presentation. It helps to create an outline of your content, which is useful in specifying which topics you will discuss and the themes behind them.
By memorizing an outline, you should be able to use your expertise to elaborate on each topic in a natural and articulate manner. Practicing discussing your outline out loud can ensure your presentation flows and is concise.
2. Be an Expert on Your Topic
This might seem like an obvious point, but audience members will be able to tell if you’re not as knowledgeable on your webinar topic as you should be. Being knowledgeable and up to date on relevant issues in your field will help you feel more confident when delivering your webinar.
Experts of a subject are generally very passionate about it, which is a harmonious mix that will leave you with the capability to leave your audience in awe. When you are truly an expert, it is much easier for the audience to be captivated and fully engaged.
3. Watch and Learn
Watch other presentations, webinars and talks and try to learn what makes a presenter engaging. Pay close attention to the way the presenters deliver their content and how you could mimic their techniques to help you improve your own public speaking abilities.
Pick out words, gestures or expressions that you like and employ them in your presentation. By watching other webinars you will develop an understanding of what constitutes a confident speaker, which in turn, will give you guidelines for how you should conduct your own webinar presentations.
4. Understand how Webinars Differ from Conventional Presentations
Remember, a webinar is quite different from a conventional presentation. It is important to understand that regardless of whether you are presenting in front of 1 person or 1000 audience members, they may only be able to hear the sound of your voice (if you’re not using a webcam).
Unlike a presentation given in-person, a webinar doesn’t allow you to see the audience members to which you are speaking. Recognizing that you are essentially presenting in front of a computer screen can help you feel more relaxed as you deliver your presentation.
5. Present with a Colleague
Presenting alongside a colleague you're comfortable with can distribute the workload of creating and delivering the content, helping you to feel more confident. The advantage of co-presenting is that you are not alone! Having a colleague on the line could provide you with assistance in presenting the key concepts, which may also offer you a sense of comfort.
Moreover, having more than one presenting can also elicit further engagement from your audience members. Having multiple experts discussing the various aspects of your content is an interactive style of presenting, which can create a real synergy between the speakers. A well-coordinated presentation involving multiple speakers can introduce new perspectives on your subject, making your presentation more interesting and lively.
6. Partner with a Webinar Provider to Take the Pressure Off
Webinars are an effective marketing tool to engage with your audience and share your message, however running a webinar on your own can certainly add to your anxiety. By working with an experienced webinar provider, you won’t need to worry about the technical details, leaving you free to focus on what’s really important - the content of your presentation.
Here at Xtalks, our experienced webinar moderators will handle the webinar procedure to allow you to feel more confident in presenting to a virtual audience. We conduct a practise session before the live event, and are with you every step of the way during the webinar itself to ensure your webinar is a success.
By following these six tips, you’ll be on your way to becoming a less nervous, more confident speaker. While your nerves might not be conquered overnight, the more effort you put into your webinar, the more comfortable you’ll be with the process of presenting.
Do you have any tips for controlling your nerves before giving a presentation ? Let us know in the comment section below. If you’re interested in hosting a webinar, be sure to contact us for more information.
Keywords: Host a Webinar, Running a Webinar
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