Episode 31: How Nervous Presenters Can Still Deliver Great Presentations
Did you know that it’s possible to deliver great presentations even if your nerves show? Even if you stutter, stumble, forget your words, you can still have a successful presentation. I’ll explain how in this episode.
What You’ll Learn in this Episode
- What will allow you to have a successful presentation, even if your nerves show
- An example from a TEDx talk where the speaker, Dr. Alia Crum, delivers a stellar talk despite being very nervous. Watch it here.
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If you enjoyed this episode, check out this episode where best-selling author Cole Knaflic shares her tips for becoming an empowered presenter.
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How Nervous Presenters Can Still Deliver Great Presentations
How Nervous Presenters Can Still Deliver Great Presentations
[00:00:00] Hana: Being nervous about public speaking is a common feeling among data professionals. Someone actually once posited to me that often people who don’t like socializing choose fields that require them to be behind a computer all day. So like data professionals. So it’s not surprising that many of us, and by us I mean data professionals don’t enjoy activities that require us to talk to people.
[00:00:23] Although I’m not saying that every data professional feels that way, but a lot of us do. On today’s episode, I’m gonna show you that it’s okay to be nervous and still own your data present. To be clear, this episode isn’t about overcoming nerves. I’ll have a separate episode about that later.
[00:00:41] This episode is about how with visible nerves, I’m talking stumbling, mumbling, ums, errs, all the tales that you’re nervous. That despite all of this, you can still have an effective presentation, and that’s by owning the contents of your presentation. And you can do that in several ways, like. Having a compelling data story relevant to your presentation.
[00:01:07] Two, ensuring your presentation is delivering value and not full of fluff. Three, making sure the message you’re delivering is coherent and easy for your target audience to follow. Four, having strong visual aids like charts to support your arguments. And five, having a clear call to action at the end of your presentation.
[00:01:28] So even if you mess up in the delivery by letting your nerves show, if you do the above, then I would still consider that presentation a win. The reason I’m giving you this pass is because we are human. Even if you practice a ton or usually don’t get nervous, you can still have days when you feel nervous and it.
[00:01:51] and I don’t want you to obsess about that during or after your presentation. You can definitely work on improving your strategy for handling nerves for future presentations, and I can address how to do that in a future episode if you’re interested. But I don’t want you to beat yourself up for past presentations, especially if you are able to own the contents of it.
[00:02:12] I figured that you’ll have an easier time believing me if you have an example. An example I have is from a TEDx talk that I can’t play on here because I don’t have the broadcasting rights to it. So instead, I’ll link the YouTube video for this talk in the show notes, but I’ll give you a quick summary.
[00:02:29] The title of this talk is Change Your Mindset. Change the Game by Dr. Ali. And Dr. Crum in this talk is clearly nervous. It’s very obvious to the audience and to even watching us later in this video clip that she’s nervous, but she really owns what she’s talking about, and that should inspire and comfort you.
[00:02:55] A TEDx talk is way more high stakes than a presentation you’re doing at work or at a conference. And often these speakers get professional training and preparation before the delivery of their TEDx talk. But it’s still natural for some of us to feel nervous when presenting.
[00:03:13] And I love that she didn’t let that nervousness make her more nervous, and instead she leaned into her content. People found tremendous value from her talk, and it sparked many thoughtful discussions. So here are some comments that I wanna read from this YouTube video.
[00:03:32] The first one is her performance of her speech is based on her topic. If you can change your mindset and keep control of your mind, you can do literally everything you thought you couldn’t. She’s battling great fear, doubt, and anxiety on that stage because. Doing a TED talk in front of a large audience is intimidating, but she toughs it out and gets more comfortable and more in control.
[00:03:54] This is inspirational salute to this woman and her courage to change and control her mindset in an intimidating situation.
[00:04:03] The next comment is, she’s nervous but doing it anyway. Wow. Never allow fear to paralyze you. Go ahead, do it afraid, hands trembling, feet shaking, but keep on your emotion.
[00:04:16] She did a great job, period. Even though she was nervous, I noticed her nervousness was nearly gone after it showed. She had time to collect herself and say, you’re owning this, and it frees her awesome job.
[00:04:29] This talk is still a great and full of useful knowledge. If you’ve ever spoken in front of a big audience, it can be truly intimidating. However, the way she brings humor and stands until the end is definitely admirable. Great job.
[00:04:44] So the takeaways from these comments are that even though it can be very obvious that you’re nervous presenting, people can still be blown away by the message or the contents of your presentation. . Also, you may be afraid about public speaking, but I’m here to tell you like others in this video comments section said, do it anyways.
[00:05:04] Do it afraid. I’ll link the video in the show notes. The topic of the TEDx talk can actually help you with your fears and worries about presenting, so I highly encourage you to watch this video.