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HR talk: Effective presentation skills: A must for training professionals

Opinion & Analysis
Do you sometimes feel nervous when you stand before an audience? Do not despair for you are not the only one to feel that way. Being nervous is considered a normal reaction we humans all have.

Do you sometimes feel nervous when you stand before an audience? Do not despair for you are not the only one to feel that way. Being nervous is considered a normal reaction we humans all have.

Paul Nyausaru

This is especially true when you are just starting as a new trainer and it’s your first time standing in the training room in front of your participants and watching all those faces looking back at you. We all have been there and experienced those same nervous feelings.

As trainers, we all have developed various degrees of stage fright and at times, even the most experienced trainers have too. Nevertheless, once you recognise that being a little nervous when you are asked to speak to others is a normal reaction, you can also learn to use that nervousness to your advantage too.

Learning to turn your nervous energy inward to focus yourself on teaching a powerful dynamic class is really no great secret, once you learn how, you’ll never be the same person again. When you are asked to give a presentation to a group of people, your presentation skill will flow naturally and comfortably.

How then do you accomplish this? You may find this information helpful in controlling your nervousness before a presentation. The first step in controlling your nervousness is a relatively simple task, you must know and understand your subject material you about to present. Lack of knowledge and confidence about your subject is a very hard thing to hide from your listeners because it is easily communicated by you during your presentation.

Once that happens, you lose their confidence in you and whatever you are going say thereafter, will fall on deaf ears.

Keeping your confidence level in “yourself” high is another big step in controlling your nervousness. How you can do that is very simple and can be accomplished with just one word, practice. Practise your presentation as much as possible? As you rehearse your speech or presentation, you become less nervous as your confidence level increases. Simply remember that being nervous is a normal human reaction and you can control it, do not let it control you.

Using the following methods has proved to be helpful at controlling some of the nervousness that may affect you. Visualise the whole presentation in your mind. This will enable you to have a picture of what you will say. This normally comes back when you tend to have lost what you want to say during the presentation.

Go through each step of the presentation in your mind much like reading a script. This entails working very hard during your preparation of the presentation so that you internalise the presentation such that even if your script is blown away by the wind you can continue talking without your audience noticing the difference.

Make sure everything that you will use during your presentation is ready and organised. This will ensure that you will not appear disorganised at some point during the presentation and your audience loses confidence in what you will be presenting.

Paul Nyausaru is a training and development practitioner. Views contained in this article are personal. You can contact him on email pnyausaru@yahoo.co.uk or pnyausaru@gmail.com