:: Grab your audience's attention with a powerful opening.
:: Maintain eye contact.
:: Don't read your PowerPoint slides.
:: Encourage the audience to ask questions throughout your presentation.
These are all great techniques to improve your presentation effectiveness, but all the techniques on the planet aren't much help when you are paralyzed by the fear of presenting. That fear blocks you from being present in the moment, from connecting with your audience and from applying any of the skills you may have learned in a training class.
Abrahams' book is a convenient 5" x 7", perfect to fit into a jacket pocket or briefcase for quick reference. Written in a conversational and easy to understand tone, the book is divided into five chapters:
Chapter 1 sets the foundation by exploring what anxiety is, what it looks and feels like and where it comes from.
Chapter 2 covers the five main theories of presentation anxiety and discusses strategies and techniques for managing anxiety and increasing confidence.
Chapter 3 delves into some memory research and offers suggestions for how you can avoid blanking out, how your physical well being affects memory and how to better remember your presentation content.
Chapter 4 identifies procrastination, perfectionism and PowerPoint as three things that worsen presentation anxiety and provides suggestions for minimizing their influence.
Chapter 5 helps you put all the information and techniques to work for you in a personal anxiety management plan.
In addition to the useful content, I really like the frequent "Try this" suggestions which offer specific, actionable activities related to the material just covered.
For anyone struggling with some degree of presentation fear and anxiety, get this book for your bookshelf [or pocket]. It's a great book to read through and then refer to frequently as a trusted resource, full of practical ideas and tips.