Simple and Powerful Confidence Techniques You Can Use In Any Presentation

[dropcap]U[/dropcap]se these following techniques to bring a bit of a fresh air and breeze to your confidence. I’ve used these in multiple training situations where people have been frozen stiff to present and afterwards they’ve presented with utmost confidence.

Starting in reverse order is my favourite one for a quick cappuccino style confidence kick, or slap in this case!

5 – Slap n’ Zap the Pre-presentation Nerves

Take a hold of them zap them up with a slap or two.

Lightly slap your face or chest a few times until you can feel it zinging (making sure not to leave any hand prints!). This will give your body that adrenaline to boost you for your presentation.

If you don’t want to do your face, you can slap your chest or arms. The face works the best I’ve found. Oh, and I recommend not doing it in front of your audience, you may get some strange looks!

4 – See Your Audience Naked

No, I’m kidding. But seriously this was highly recommended some years ago as a way to de-personalise your audience and make them less real, thus taking out the fear factor of presenting to unknown people.  A bit too real if you ask me. Anyway – hitting the number 4 spot is Acting As If. Act as if you’re confident.

  1. If you act as if you are, your body will provide you with the necessary ‘juice’ to make it happen. Nerves and anxiety are transitory, when you’re concentrating on what you’re doing and distracted from them, they cease to exist. It’s only when you put your attention there that you notice them.
  2. Which leads to b) change your attention and de-focus on the people or a spot in front of you. This is a very powerful technique and I use it often in stressbound situations – If you’re new to it it might take a bit of practice see c) to learn how to use it. It’s also the ‘presenters’ eye state that helps you notice things in your periphery.
  3. Defocus – practice this until you can get it. Focus on a spot in front of yourself about 10-15 feet away and start to move your attention to either side of that spot so your widening your gaze while keeping your eyesight in one spot. Keep going until you reach the edges of what you can see in the edge of your eyesight (this is known as your peripheral vision).
  4. Use this when you present. I have consistently found that going into peripheral vision while presenting drastically reduces anxiety, if not completely. I find it one of the best immediate techniques for stopping anxiety / panic than anything else.

3 – Learn the First Minute

You might therefore wonder why this is at number 3 and the previous one isn’t in this place. This is because making something a habit is the best think you can do, especially if it gets you the results you desire.

Learning the first minute of your presentation so that you can repeat it verbose helps get over that initial ‘what do I say, oh I’ve forgotten what to say’ moment. It also means instead of thinking what you’re saying you can put your attention on your audience.

Practice and learn it so you can repeat it anywhere and anytime.

2 – Meet Your Audience

Meet and greet your audience. Get to know them by finding a little about why they attended and what they want most want to learn. Spend a minute or two with at least 5 of them where you can understand more about them.

Building quick rapport helps to feel like you have some people to speak to, instead of a sea of unknown faces. It also helps them feel that they have more a personal connection with you.

Many people suffer nerves because when they look out upon the audience, there are a lot of faces. A situation people are most commonly not used to and that these faces are all looking in the one direction at you.

This has the effect of changing the way you see them inside your mind as this ‘sea / wall of faces’ instead of individuals. By spending a few moments with some of them prior to your presentation, you’ll discover when you present that this sea has been broken up and now, you’re presenting to individuals, people with whom you’ve met.

1 – Sing from the Hymn Sheet

Know your presentation from the first to the last word.

The top presentation reason for lack of self confidence is ‘not wanting to look like a fool’.

No fool is more a fool than one that comes unprepared and this is because you the presenter is trying to say too much or too little and saying little at all.

And this all comes down to not knowing whether your presentation is going to hit the mark.

So, what do you do about it?

First – understand your audience’s needs, what they struggle with and what they’re trying to achieve. Build your presentation around this, such that what you’re presenting is a solution or method of getting there.

Then check each section of your presentation and see whether what you’re presenting does indeed contribute to their desired outcome.

  1. You understand their problem
  2. You have a solution
  3. It’s something that they can do
  4. It’s better than what they’re currently doing

Second – Keep it concise and don’t oversay anything. Treat it like a sweet. Give it all to them and it’s just too sweet. Give them a bit and they’ll be wanting more.

When you’re precise on what the key message is and the benefits to your audience, this will give you the confidence you need because what you’re offering is a solution to their woes and who doesn’t want that?

Having  a structure that creates Buy-in, wins over your audience and gives you that winning confidence because you can use it repeatedly to achieve a result every time.


Rob Ballentine
Rob Ballentine

Rob's the Owner and Founder of PResult. Preferring a Scotch over a beer, you can find him perusing the strings of his guitar playing the likes of Steve Vai to Blue Gras chops. He loves a movie as much as playing the XBox or reading some sci-fi or personal development books, when time affords it!

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