Zoom Meetings Look Set to Stay: Tips to Becoming More Comfortable and Confident Presenting Online
One of the worst and best things to happen to businesses in the past year is the invention of the Zoom/Teams meeting, or whatever other platform you may have used. Some people love the idea of attending meetings in their pyjamas with the camera off, while others have the misfortune of trying to give presentations with unreliable Wi-Fi and endless glitches.
Talking in front of a group was already challenging enough. However, with the embarrassment of paused faces, the annoyance of dropping in and out and the added challenge of maintaining engagement whilst talking to a screen, the task has only worsened in recent months.
Oh, and let’s not forget the fact that you also have to stare at your own increasingly reddening face whilst you try to concentrate on what you are attempting to deliver. Is there any wonder that anxiety around public speaking has increased since the start of the pandemic?
Well, London Offices are here to help. Here are some key skills you can implement to try and reduced the anxiety you may feel about public speaking in the new digital world.
Practise Makes Perfect
This doesn’t just apply to learning a musical instrument at school. Practising what you are going to say under the same circumstances you are going to deliver them is the best way to put yourself at ease before show time. This could mean organising a Zoom call with family or friends before the big day or simply rehearsing your presentation to yourself with your webcam on.
Fail to prepare, prepare to fail is the truest saying for situations like this. If you are going to have to share your screen or bring up presentations, practise your fluidity, ensure you know how the application works as well as possible and ensure all your files are open and prepared to go. This will put your mind at ease and help you to convince yourself that you got this.
Mind over Matter
The mind is a powerful tool and if you tell yourself something convincingly enough, you can assure it of almost anything. This is applies to your automatic fear responses too. Involuntarily, your heart may start beating faster, you may begin to sweat, there may be a knotting feeling in the bottom of your stomach, all of which you associate with fear and the idea that you are in some sort of danger.
However, many of these reactions are similar to those which occur when we are excited. Try telling yourself that these reactions are getting you pumped to deliver the best presentation of your life and that you can’t wait to share what you have to say with those joining the call. It is surprising how much power is in framing your words and thoughts with a positive spin.
The Moments before Matter Most
Did you ever used to hear the words, what I don’t know now I will never know before entering an exam? Well, this lack of pressure is exactly what you need before giving your presentation. Going over and over what you want to say in your head just builds pressure and ends up leaving you more muddled and stressed than if you focused your attention on something else completely.
In fact, distracting yourself is exactly what you should be doing. Something that loosens your muscles and allows your mind and body to relax like dancing or yoga, or even simply listening to music will put you in the best position for recalling vital information without pressure. This pressure is what makes the words come out all muddled and causes things to start falling apart.
Let go of Being Perfect
My final piece of advice is to give up the idea of getting your presentation perfect. Not only is this still a new practise to all of us, some things in the digital world are just completely out of our control and everybody has been the victim of technological failures at one point or another.
Remind yourself that most genuine people will forgive you for tripping over a word here or there. And if they miss a few seconds of what you say while the Wi-Fi drops out, they will pick back up the thread of what you were saying easily enough.
Like with everything in life, the more frequently you do something, the more comfortable with it you will become. Try using these tips the next time you’re due on zoom for that big presentation and see how well you can calm your nerves. Don’t give up or panic if things go wrong, you’re only human. Simply use it as an opportunity to learn for next time around.
Sick of Zoom calls altogether and just want to get you and your team back into a brand new workspace? Give London Offices a call on 020 7166 7981, we can help.