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Monday, February 1st, 2010
How do you like giving presentations? Do you look forward to it? If so, you’re in the minority. It scares most people to death! I was in Atlanta doing a session this last Monday—for Anthem/BCBS—and it reminded me that I actually love it. (Especially when it’s with such a great group of people!) That’s a nice thing, I think, and I feel truly fortunate to have the opportunity to meet and work with people in that environment.
That doesn’t mean, however, that I don’t still get nervous beforehand, because I definitely do. Here’s a tip I use that helps: “Be the Host.”
Before my presentation begins, I look out at the audience and imagine I’m hosting a dinner party, and they’re my guests. So, I don’t see them as strangers, wondering who I am (and who I think I am to be coming in here telling them anything), but as my friends, who are genuinely interested in what I have to say. They’re not sitting in judgement of me, demanding I earn their respect or be quickly dismissed. They know and like me already, and are looking forward to spending some time together. Best of all, I’m not frightened at the thought of going out there and making a fool of myself. I’ve planned things out, I’m feeling good about what I’ve prepared, and I’m genuinely looking forward to sharing it with them and making sure they enjoy themselves. And you know what? They are going to enjoy themselves—and I am too.
This might seem silly, but it works for me. No, it doesn’t get rid of all my nerves, but it does help quite a bit.