How to start a presentation and overcome the fear of its beginning?
In this article, I want to discuss the fear of public speaking and the best way to start a presentation.
Why the beginning of a speech always makes us nervous?
When it comes to fear of public speaking, all people struggle with how to overcome the fear of its beginning. So I think it’s important to take a look at the fear of lecture graph over time:
As you can see in the graph, our fear suddenly goes up. At the moment we want to start a presentation, we experience the most amount of fear. It makes people believe that the fear will stay with them till the end. So, they lose their hope and become even more nervous.
We have to know that this graph is true for everyone, even the experts except the time and the severity are shorter for them.
We won’t even notice it. (for more information, read about Jeffrey Honer’s study in “what causes fear of public speaking.”
Why is the beginning of presentations and meetings so hard?
In the time of presentation, we are scared and excited. There is a lot of dopamine in our Neocortex, and this massive amount of dopamine makes our brain white and we can’t fully utilize all the capabilities of our brain. Then depending on how much practice and preparation we had and how much familiar this condition is, our effectiveness decreases (sometimes, if we haven’t practiced at all, it decreases a lot. The way that we won’t even remember a thing and sometimes we are just a little bit nervous!)
So it’s essential to:
Set our speech before and rehearse it many times so that we can present it unconsciously! Then we won’t need our thoughts anymore!
I’ve told it a thousand times, if you practice your speech five times, you have to practice its start and its end 20 times. Beginning and the ending are the most difficult parts of the speech.
Why is the beginning of your speech so important?
the start of our presentations and the beginning of the meetings are so important as well as they are difficult.
As you can see in this graph in the beginning, the attention is high but the audience lose their focus during the time and they start noticing others. They want to see what others do, or they start talking to the person sitting next to them, or they check their cellphones.
So if we don’t start a presentation effectively, we will lose our audience because the first 7-30 seconds of the beginning let the audience see if we’re good or bad:
1- They see if we are self-confident enough
2- do we have the mastery of word?
3- And finally they decide to listen to us or not.
Having a good start is essential. If we don’t have a good start, the audience will lose attention.
Best ways to start a presentation
There are many ways with which you can start your presentation but what we always see in the great speakers’ speech is that they use stories!
Certainly, stories are the most powerful tool to attract the audience’s attention. So I suggest you read “the art of storytelling.”
But you might ask why do I suggest using stories to start your presentation?
You’re right to ask such a question and be sure that if you use this skill well, you can attract the audience’s attention.
Reasons for using storytelling skill to start a speech:
1- Attractive to the audience: the most powerful thing that makes others notice you is to tell a story. Stores make them stick to what you are saying.
2- We don’t need to think to tell a story, and if we practice it a few times, it’s hardly possible to forget them.
3- Stories are simple and trackable for the audience because they have a specific route and the audience can have a connection with it easily.
4- Speakers who have used stories confirmed that they have self-confidence while telling a story. This self-confidence conveys to the audience, too.
I hope you have great lectures using these tips and shine at the meetings that you need to start speaking …