As an agency owner or freelancer, presenting and presenting well is a necessary part of the job.
The fear of public speaking is the most common phobia ahead of death, spiders, or heights. The National Institute of Mental Health reports that public speaking anxiety, or glossophobia, affects about 73% of the population. The underlying fear is judgment or negative evaluation by others.*
If you are one of these people then to be successful in your job as an agency leader you really need to learn to overcome this fear.
If you feel comfortable speaking then there are ways you probably can improve.
Why is presenting so important?
Well, it is because as an agency leader you have to be able to communicate well in a variety of different situations.
Networking / Selling
The onus on sales often falls on the agency owner. Whether that be in a networking scenario where you have to communicate an elevator pitch a short amount of time (either 121 or publicly); or you are in front of a customer explaining what you can do for them, describing your services and the value that they will receive.
Presenting is all around delivering your messages in a concise, clear and understandable way.
If your an agency with a team (or a single person business with external suppliers) You will need to be able to communicate effectively to these audiences. This includes:
- Making sure that they understand the vision for the business;
- communicating your messages within team meetings;
- articulating in 121 discussions and reviews
This is the one area that is the most discussed within the agency world. Pitching is part of the sales process, a vital part. It is the difference between winning business and losing business.
Being able to pitch effectively is probably the single most important presentations that you will do as an agency owner.
Formal Presentations (education)
A key way of increasing the visibility of what you do as a business often involves doing formal presentations. this this is a great way of educating your audience with what you do and the value you provide.
If you are afraid of presenting then this is a key area that you are missing out on.
How do you get over glossophobia?
There are many aspects to being able to deliver effective presentations as there are many ways to overcome the fear.
The biggest fear is brain freeze – the fear that you will completely forget what you are going say – this triggers the ‘what will people think of me’ anxiety and immediately you go into fight of flight mode.
A big party of this fear can be overcome by learning (and practicing) various presentation techniques.
- Relaxation techniques
- Breathing techniques
- Projection techniques
- Audience engagement techniques
What we say or how we say it
There are many research studies on the impact of verbal versus non verbal communication. One is upto 93% impact for non verbal communications in giving an effective presentation.
Whatever the figure the ability to impact an audience by what you don’t say cannot be underestimate and this is a key skill to be able to deliver great presentations.
Practise makes perfect – In many respects this is absolutely true in the world of presentations. This is a key way to overcome any fear you may have.
Help is at hand
Over the last few years we have had some wonderful presentations on this subject (that are available for members in the portal) from experts such as:
Sally Hindmarch at Partners With You (https://www.linkedin.com/in/sallyhindmarch/). Those at Agency Local Summer Social this year received a copy of her book in the ‘goody bag’.
And Andrea Pacini (https://www.linkedin.com/in/apacini/) from Ideas on Stage
In August 2022 we have Andrea coming back to talk to us about 3 steps to effective presentations covering:
- 3 key success factors for effective presentations
- Powerful techniques for developing a compelling message
- A simple method for high-impact presentations
Link to book here (free to Agency Local members)
Make Presenting a priority
I recommend that if you want to be a successful leader of your business then you make sure that presenting effectively is a key skill that you have in your armory. This will really help you to be successful in your business life and to take your agency to the next level.