The first time I hit a golf ball it was a great shot. Straight down the middle of the fairway and the distance was ok, however I knew I could improve. I played a couple of times with friends and then decided to have a lesson or two.
Well, I learnt that there was so much to learn! So much to practice!The next time I prepared to hit a ball I had 20 things to think about. Things I had not considered previously. Teeing up the ball, stance, back swing, follow through, grip, wrist position and list goes on. . . . . .
It occurred to me while I was recently presenting a public speaking 1 day workshop that the participants suddenly had a lot to think about that they were not aware of when they walked into the room in the morning. There will be a lot going on in your mind as you start –
Where do I stand?
How do I hold my hands?
What did I just say?
Is that the right slide?
Keep eye contact with the audience?
What was I going to say next?
What if someone asks me a question?
Can the audience hear me?
Is the microphone working?
What time is it?
And on top of all of that and more you expect that you have to remember your content the very first time you speak.
Go easy on yourself! Choose 1 thing to focus on improving each time you speak. Practice, and then when you have improved choose the next thing that you are going to work on. You will continue to learn something new each time you speak, exactly as experienced speakers do.
Keep your expectations realistic. The more practice you do the more confident you will become, just like anything else in life that you are challenging yourself to improve. Practice on your own and in front of an audience. Give yourself feedback and ask for feedback from others. Take that onboard and work on the parts of your presentation that need work.
This really is no different to learning anything new in life.
Most of all smile and have FUN!