October 2013

SportsTurf provides current, practical and technical content on issues relevant to sports turf managers, including facilities managers. Most readers are athletic field managers from the professional level through parks and recreation, universities.

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Page 19 of 48

Tips to take the terror out of giving presentations W HAT'S SCARIER to most Americans than spiders, heights, or even death? There hasn't been a horror movie made about it yet, but more than 75% of Americans surveyed report that they suffer from "glossophobia," a debilitating fear of public speaking. Statistically, far more of us claim that we would prefer death to giving a speech; even comedian Jerry Seinfeld used to joke that at a funeral, most people would rather be lying in the casket than delivering the eulogy. Why is the prospect of trying to communicate information in front of even one person so horrifying? Most glossophobes fear looking bad, being criticized, suffering rejection, and losing business or friends, all because they are 20 SportsTurf | October 2013 certain they will forget what they'd planned to say. Maybe you have had the experience of forgetting a speech or presentation, or you've seen it happen to someone else, and you don't want it to happen to you. Ever. WHAT'S WRONG WITH ROTE? Most people memorize speeches by rote-or word-for-word repetition-and try to deliver it exactly as they've written it. You probably don't realize that this method of learning is actually setting you up to forget what you're supposed to say because it creates tremendous stress, which is in turn the number one killer of memory. Or if you do manage to remember every single word you'd planned to say, the effort requires so much mental energy that you come off as a terrible communicator. You're not really there while you're speaking because all of your efforts go into remembering what comes next. If, heaven forbid, something distracts you, or someone interrupts you with a question during a memorized presentation, thinking about anything other than "What comes next?" can throw you completely off-track. Your mind may literally go blank, just as you feared. And there's one more problem with word-for-word learning: 93% of our communication happens nonverbally. The majority of the message your audience receives has very little to do with the actual words you say but with body language, tone of voice, gestures, and facial expressions. So you can't expect to convey ease and expertise non-verbally if your mental and physical energies are completely preoccupied with delivering a verbatim speech. You'll simply be too tense, and it will show. As a real estate professional, for example, when you're discussing listing or selling a prospect's home, an effective presentation is one in which you are clearly the expert and know more about selling a home than the person who wants the home sold. Microphone image © Facility&Operations | By Roger Seip

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