How to be more confident at giving presentations

Posted on 1 June, 2018 by Lyndsey Segal in Business Coaching, NLP

Giving a presentation – it’s a bit like marmite – you either love it or hate it! For those of you that love it, you may see it as an opportunity to communicate your ideas or findings, showcase your skills, knowledge and experience and engage your audience in ideas, both mentally and emotionally. For those of you that hate it, just thinking about giving a presentation is enough to make your mouth go dry, your palms sweaty, your heart beat faster, butterflies in your stomach and feel (and some people actually are) sick!

A recent client fell into the latter category. She told me she had a ‘fear of giving presentations. Just thinking about giving a presentation, let alone actually doing one made her tearful and nauseas. During the Coaching sessions, I helped my client to explore that her fear of presentations was attributed to a lack of confidence.

Throughout the Coaching sessions, I helped my client to identify where her lack of confidence originated from and helped her to replace her limiting self-beliefs with positive beliefs and aspirations of what her life would be like with increased confidence.

In addition to this, I helped my client reprogram her association of giving presentations by combining Coaching with NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming). I asked her to remember and relive a time when she was confident and successful at giving a presentation. I helped her to explore that memory with all her senses, identifying what the room and people in it looked/sounded/felt and even smelt like. I took her through a process where she reached her optimum resourceful state and used an anchoring technique to preserve this image which she could use and revisit again in the future. I was delighted to hear that when she gave her presentation shortly after our final Coaching session, she delivered it with greater confidence and resourcefulness.

Here are my ten top tips to help increase your confidence and performance when giving presentations:

1) Decide on the outcome – what is the purpose of the presentation? What message are you wanting to convey?

2) Identify your audience and use appropriate language for them. Does it need to be formal or informal?

3) Try to cater for the different ways that your audience will receive the information in your presentation – the visual, auditory and kinaesthetic learners. Provide visuals for the visual learners, use voice tone, tempo and speed for the auditory learners and provide models or samples for the kinaesthetic learners if possible. Giving examples to demonstrate your key points will be beneficial for people who like detail.

4) Use your voice (range of tone, pitch, resonance, speed and volume) alongside your body posture and gesture to support your communication. Use tone to emphasise key words and points and use pause effectively for emphasis.

5) Use enthusiasm and passion to reinforce your message.

6) Use and maintain good eye contact with your audience to keep them engaged. Move your eye contact around each person when presenting to a group.

7) Relaxed facial expressions, smiling and relaxed body language will help you appear confident and instil confidence in others.

8) Visualise yourself having finished the presentation and it being a success. This may be receiving a loud round of applause, seeing smiling faces back at you, being asked some interesting questions from the audience, or receiving a vote of thanks and recognition for your hard work. Keep hold of this image in your mind and use a timeline to identify what you did to get there.

9) Set a time limit. Refine and edit your presentation so it fits within the designated time and practise.

10) Practise. Watch yourself in a mirror or on video to see what others will see.

Confidence (not just for giving presentations) is fundamental to your personal and professional effectiveness.

I hope these top tips will help you to give presentations with greater confidence and therefore enjoyment in the future.

‘Boosting Confidence for Competence’ is the focus for my next networking and Coaching coffee morning on Thursday, 28thJune. This unique and inspiring event will help you to create time and space to explore how you can increase your confidence and therefore your competence in your personal and professional effectiveness. These monthly events are aimed at self-employed people who live and/or work in Brighton and Hove to spread the word about their business, meet potential clients and receive group Coaching from me to boost their business. For more details and to book your ticket:

If you are unable to attend the event or live outside of Brighton and Hove but you are interested in boosting your confidence to increase your competence, I offer 1:1 Coaching and group Coaching to help you achieve your personal and professional goals. I work face to face in Brighton and Hove and online internationally.