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How preparation helps reduce your public speaking nerves

Updated: Jul 13, 2023

Have you ever been in one of those meetings where you wonder what you’re doing there?


You start off full of hope and anticipation but actually, it doesn’t turn out to be what you expected it to be.


What a waste of time! It's totally not relevant to you and you wish you hadn't bothered.


This type of thing can make us nervous when we're preparing for a presentation. We don't want people to switch off, we want our audience to learn from us and to be interested in what we have to say.


But, how do we do that?


Well, studies suggest that effective presentations are:

  • 38% your voice

  • 55% non-verbal communication, and

  • Only 7%, your content.


That means that you should spend even more time preparing your delivery than you do developing awesome content.


Not only will this help you to deliver your presentation, but it’ll also help with any fears or anxiety you have about public speaking.



What’s the challenge?


There are so many reasons why we might get nervous before a presentation.


Fear - nerves can affect our performance and we worry we will be remembered for all the wrong reasons.


Delivering presentations, doing pitches, or standing up to talk at networking events isn’t something we do every day, so we don’t often get the chance to practice and polish our presentation style.


We get up there and all we can think is…

  • "Don’t look at me"

  • "I'm so stupid"

  • "I’ll mess it up"

  • "I'm not good enough"


So, why do we bother putting ourselves through all of this?

  1. Connection - helping customers or prospects to get to know you and what you’re about. Remember, people buy people so it’s really important to build that trust with your audience.

  2. Credibility - presentations and public speaking gives you an opportunity to showcase your knowledge & expertise to build trust quickly.

  3. Convincing - we are all sales people whether we like it or not, so don’t forget to end with a memorable call to action!


This presentation could be what stands between you and your dream job, or winning that big client. So it’s really important to make an impact.


And, it’ll also boost your confidence!




How does being prepared help with anxiety?


Preparing for a presentation takes a lot of work, right?


You've probably been psyching yourself up for weeks, lying awake at night worrying about it and dreading that day finally arriving.


So, we want to make sure people are actually listening to you. Otherwise, what’s the point in putting yourself through it?


There’s nothing worse than seeing your audience switching off.


Why does this happen?


People have a lot going on in their lives


They might be thinking about what’s going on at home


If they’re working from home, they might be distracted by the dogs, kids, deliveries


If they’re sat in a boardroom, they might be distracted by emails and messages popping up on their phones


In this age of constant distraction, it can be hard to capture people’s attention and this is a huge worry for so many people when it comes to presenting or public speaking. By preparing in advance, we can relieve some of those fears and anxieties.


The first two key things that will help you to prepare are:


1 | Knowing your audience

The more you understand your audience, the more likely you will make an impact.

Ask the event organiser who is going to be attending, what the audience is interested in learning, and why they are coming to your presentation.


2 | Knowing your subject

If you really know your subject, you can speak with confidence and credibility. What we know isn’t always obvious to other people.






Once you’ve got these things clear, you can really start to prepare.


Whether it’s a pitch to an important client, a talk at your local networking group, or whether you’re a keynote speaker at an event, ask yourself these 6 questions:

  1. Who is your audience?

  2. How will you hook them in?

  3. Which 3 meaningful messages will you share?

  4. What supporting statistics can you use?

  5. Which story can you use as evidence?

  6. What is your call to action?


Now, you can start to put your presentation together!


Being prepared helps you to feel more comfortable and as a result you’re more relaxed, you can have fun and people see the real you.


Would you like some extra help? I've created a handy Presentation Planner to help you to plan your presentation and feel confident and relaxed, ready to deliver! Send me an email if you want one liz@boldmovescoach.co.uk



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