Worry and anxiety are normal, especially for someone who cares about what they are doing, who cares about how the audience will perceive them and whether they can cope with the task. Another thing is when excitement turns into uncontrollable emotional stress, slowing us down and preventing us from working and realising our potential. This is where you have to take action and deal with these panic attacks…
Webinars are a typical source of excitement. The presenter finds himself at the screen, live on air, in the spotlight of a large number of people he can’t even see. He literally feels under the gun, as he is evaluated, scrutinized, caught every gesture and every word. Suddenly, out of the blue, his pulse quickens, his breathing becomes laboured, his palms sweat, his head becomes cluttered with thoughts, his speech becomes unsteady and “everything flies out of his head”.
How to overcome these signs of fear, to please listeners with interesting and useful webinars, and most importantly – to enjoy the performance itself?
Focus on the purpose of the webinar
At the heart of this technique is the attention-shifting technique. When we focus on dealing with fear, we focus on our fears. Worry begins to dominate other thoughts. When we tell ourselves, “Don’t worry!”, our consciousness activates the “worry” mode. Experts in psychology and neurophysiology claim that the human brain in this case does not perceive the ‘not’ particle. Don’t believe it?
So what to do? You need to focus on something else. Instead of thinking about fears and excitement, think about the main purpose of the webinar, what is a webinar and how does it work. About what you want to get out of it. Then we won’t have time to think about our fears.
Do not overestimate the importance of the event and the audience. Exaggerate yours!
Many people are afraid of speaking because of fear of making a mistake in front of the audience, of saying something stupid, of appearing to be a loser. These fears look something like this: “They are all so cool (experts, rich, experienced people, what can I give them …?”, “I have so little experience, I know less than them, I’m such a tiny little man in front of these great people,” “This is sooooo important and responsible event, on which my whole life depends”. These fears are always the constraints in the brain that prevent you from successfully, worthily and with a buzz on the webinar.
That’s why you need to use a 3-step technique: raise your profile as a presenter, lower the profile of the audience and the profile of the event as a whole.
Prepare carefully, rehearse in real time
Confidence and peace of mind come from being in control. Make sure you know the material, try to anticipate questions from your audience and shape your answers in advance. Make a detailed outline of the speech and break it down into key points to remember. Make the speech “lively”, sprinkle it with jokes, facts, stories. Think about how to speak the same language as the listener. Try to make them contribute to your webinar as well.
Be sure to practice at home, adopting a position in which you feel comfortable. Maybe you’ve ever verbally managed to solve an important issue or a serious problem, use that state of mind to boost your confidence. And don’t forget to simulate that state in your mind before the webinar itself.
It’s a good idea to do a trial webinar in front of one listener. Ideally, if this is your colleague, who is well versed in the stated topic. It is such a test listener will be able to catch flaws in your presentation, ask the right questions and give useful recommendations.