Fear of public speaking and giving presentations is commonplace. But you probably didn’t realise that even some of the most experienced professionals get the same jitters you do.
A survey of more than 1,000 Australians, commissioned by presentation company Prezi revealed some interesting findings about how CEOs and business owners feel about giving presentations.
Over 60 per cent of these CEOs admit to having fears when it comes time for them to give a presentation.
Almost a third fear they will bore the audience, while around a quarter worry about embarrassing themselves.
Due to the performance anxiety, around 18 per cent say their heart races while presenting. A further 10 per cent admit that they begin to sweat and 8 per cent admitted that their voice becomes weak.
Despite experiencing some stage fright, an overwhelming 86 per cent of CEOs recognise the importance of good presentation skills for career progression and success.
CEOs might be experienced, but the survey also revealed that 30 per cent don’t practice their presentations. Of those that do, 35 per cent practice in their heads, and only 14 per cent practice in front of an audience, such as a family member or friend.
It’s important to remember that no matter how experienced you are in the art of giving presentations, it will never end well if you go into a presentation unprepared.
When presenters don’t practice, they tend to read directly from their palm cards or slides. Doing this will disengage the audience and ensure that they remember little of what is said.
Practice makes perfect. Everyone gets fears when presenting to a crowd, but if you research and practice that fear translates to authenticity and passion. Passion will always be engaging.