As many of you know, both Steve and I have been out delivering seminars lately.
To be honest, it’s a completely new angle for us at Data Bubble to take. However, what better opportunity is there to spread the word about our business to a group of people who want to hear more?
Forget The Nerves…
As this was something new for both of us, we did both feel the nerves jangling a little, so I wanted to share with you some things that helped me to overcome my nerves…
1- Know What You Want to Say
Knowledge of your subject is vital, so make sure you know your subject well. That said, why would you deliver a seminar on something you know little about?
What I really mean here is know what it is about your subject that you want to say and stick to it (you will get distracted and change your mind several times – trust me!!). Then, believe that everybody in the room will learn something they didn’t know before.
2- Practice Makes Perfect
There’s no doubt that practice makes perfect and having prepared the speech well in advance, I then started to practice it. I practised 2, 3, 4 times a day – at home, out walking the dogs – in fact, it’s fair to say that the dogs now know the speech off by heart and will probably each have a LinkedIn page up and running by the end of the month!
It’s not just about the content though, it’s about the delivery. I’ve practised pausing at the right times, allowing me to compose myself and my audience to absorb the information before moving on to the next topic. This meant that I didn’t have to think on my feet and worry about what was coming next.
3- Dress Comfortably
This might sound daft, nevertheless dressing comfortably means you have one less thing to worry about, plus knowing that you look good gives you a natural boost in confidence. For me, knowing that I looked good meant that I felt good, which gave me confidence and reduced my fears.
4- Keep Yourself Busy
When you arrive at the venue, rather than focusing on the seminar, keep yourself busy in other ways. When I got to the venue, for example, I distracted myself by handing out Data Bubble Sticky Mobile Phone Screen Cleaners and leaflets and by setting my banners up.
5- Focus on the Seminar, Rather Than the Little Things
I noticed that I had started to get nervous over silly things like “what will people think”, “how should I stand” and “would there be a microphone” etc. so for me to dispel these nerves, I started to focus only on the seminar i.e. delivering a great message that was logical and relevant to my audience.
6- Bring a Friend or Colleague
For moral support, I dragged Steve along with me. This gave me someone I could glance at for encouraging smiles and nods when needed. It helped me to detach myself from the situation, as we were able to talk things through beforehand and he was able to keep me focused on the objective.
During the presentation, he was able to see first-hand the reaction of the audience and how the presentation was being received. His input was invaluable, as I was able to get feedback from him from an outsider’s view.
7- Keep a Positive Mental Attitude
Almost a combination of the above factors really. I knew that I understood my subject matter inside out, I knew that I had practised the presentation numerous times and I convinced myself that it was going to be a success. This positive thinking helped me with my nerves and telling myself that I would succeed helped enormously – and guess what…. I did succeed.
In fact, I received some great feedback both from the event organisers and from the delegates, many of who came up to me asking more questions after the event closed…
So…The Final Verdict
Let’s just say that for much of the time in the run-up to the seminar, I questioned myself numerous times – “Why had I volunteered to deliver the seminar?”; “Why would anyone want to listen to me?”; “How do I ensure I don’t freeze on stage?”
In all honesty, was I relieved when it was over? Without a doubt! However, on reflection, I really enjoyed it and much of my “pre-match nerves” were unfounded and silly. The seminar raised my profile and that of Data Bubble, plus it helped many business people learn more about LinkedIn and how to use it to gain new business for your company. All in all, I’d say that was a Win-Win!