Sep 16, 2020 06:43 PM
Presentations can be a difficult task to complete at work. Yes, we’ve all been there. Standing in front of a large (or small) audience and informing them about the day’s topic. Experiencing sweaty hands, an elevated heart rate all while trying to act as if you’ve done this hundreds of times. It may seem like a nightmare to get up in front of people and talk (and it has a name) but it doesn’t have to be!
According to a 2017 article from NationalSocialAnxietyCenter.com, Glossophobia is the fear of public speaking. It goes on to say ‘The National Institute of Mental Health’ reported 73 percent of Americans are affected by it. While this fear has steadily been in the top 20 of all time, the introduction of advanced technology may have helped ease the burden of presentation anxiety. For instance, not having to be in the same room as your audience may lower anxiety. On top of that, video presentations have become a popular avenue because it allows the presenter to add familiarities their comfortable with, easing any stress. This can also be a plus for the audience as well, giving them a chance to relate and invest in the presentation their watching.
Now that we’ve identified what the fear of public speaking (and presenting) is, how can we help fight it? The same NationalSocialAnxietyCenter.com article goes on to provide tips for freaked out public speakers:
- Rehearse to Increase Confidence - Practicing your presentation, whether it be in video form or good old-fashioned notecards is a good way to make yourself comfortable with the content.
- Learn to Relax – Making eye contact (rather in person or via video) with different members of the audience as well as breathing slowly will help settle you, once you’ve began.
- Leave it There – Dwelling on the negative aspects of a presentation or trying to perfect it all the time may only increase your anxiety. So once you’re done, leave it there!
*Check out the complete list of tips for help with public speaking here.
Now that we have the tips out of the way, how can we improve on the content being told? For starters, video presentations (as well as others) are all about storytelling. How can you get your audience to connect to you? How can you get people to invest (and participate) in what you’re saying? Try starting off with a relatable story or relevant example that draws attention. Starting with something your audience can relate to usually disarms them and gets them used to your speaking style right off the bat. By doing this, you take the pressure off yourself and put the focus on the topic at hand.
Another good tool to help improve video presentation storytelling is to include examples. People like to see how it applies to real word situations or ideas that others have had. By doing this you can help build a framework for your story that has a beginning, middle and end (as all stories should). By providing these “mile markers” for where you’re going, your audience has the chance to sit back and enjoy the ride instead of attempting to figure out the point of it all.
Lastly, let your personality shine! Chances are if someone is asking you to present it’s because they think you’re good at it (of course there are exceptions). So, when you are telling your story via video (or in person) don’t be afraid to inject some humor into it when necessary. This lets the audience know you are having fun which then allows them to have fun as well. It also makes your story memorable. If there’s a punchline or a joke that reflects positively on your overall message, it’s more likely to be remembered (and shared).
At the end of the day, video storytelling is an umbrella term that can be tailored for any industry. No matter the topic, if you’re doing it well people will listen. Plus, in a video format, it allows you to be as creative as you want to be. So the next time someone inevitably asks you to present with video, instead of hesitating, embrace it. Because you have all the tools you need to tell an effective story from beginning, to middle, to end.