Career Advice Professional Development

Shy Employees’ Guide to Giving Presentations

Melanie Bacallao
By: Melanie Bacallao
Sep 8, 2020 • 7 min read

Shy Employees’ Guide to Giving Presentations

Public speaking is a feat that shy employees struggle with, but it’s a skill that can still be taught. While it takes time to perfect this skill, you can start by following these tips to heart. Whether it’s your first time giving a business presentation or the twentieth, there is a lot of room for improvement when it comes to presenting. And if you’re shy, there are many options for you to approach giving comfortable presentations.

giving presentations

1. Practice

Practicing is a head-on way to tackle public speaking. After all, you need to do public speaking to overcome that fear. There is no real alternative to it. However, you can pace yourself by starting out small by doing the following:

  • Use family and friends. Present in front of people you recognize to quell your fear and focus more on your delivery. Knowing your script when the presentation is due will help keep you on the right track.
  • Attend workshops. There are plenty of workshops or meetings that are held by schools or businesses that can be publicly attended. Here you’ll be guided by professionals, interact with strangers, and hone your public speaking skills in a short period of time.
  • Have notes on hand. When practicing, it’s essential to look at your script through index cards or something small to look back on. While you can refer to it at any time during practice, it’s important to not rely on it during the real thing.
  • Do volunteer work. Have extracurriculars that test your social skills can aid your improvement in public speaking.
  • Record yourself practicing. Having a video to go back to will make you see your mistakes while you’re presenting. This is the perfect way to practice in private if you’re unable to do it in front of others.
  • Take courses. Whether in school or through another institution, a course can teach you everything there is you need to know to do an effective presentation. If you take courses through third-party sites, they may even reward you with a certificate, which you can use on your resume.
  • Speak with your coworkers. Even if you know your coworkers never done a presentation or not, they can still provide useful tips on what exactly your business is looking for in a presentation. Their advice can help you practice more efficiently.

2. Think More Positively

Introverts can be paralyzed on the spot when it’s actually time to give their presentation. Negative emotions like embarrassment and humiliation begin to flood their systems before they can even say a word. The truth is, public speaking can be draining to even think about. Remember that your audience is unaware of your thoughts or emotions, so it’s pivotal to have a relaxed approach. Clear your head and start speaking. Shyness tends to restrain movement and allows overthinking in social situations. You can ease into your presentation by thinking of the following:

  • Your audience is supportive of you and only wants what’s best. 
  • Think of your presentation as a story that you’re eager to share.
  • When you are looking at them, think they are someone else.
  • Remember that you have to end your presentation at some point.

If you find that you’re making mistakes during your presentation, power through them by acting like nothing happened. Your audience knows that you’re human, so if you find yourself in that position, keep that in mind. 

giving presentations

3. Find a Way to Recharge

An introvert’s battery can quickly drain in any social setting, making a retreat mandatory to recharge. However, sometimes our batteries run out mid-presentation. While you can’t be fully restored in the middle of your presentation, there are ways to give yourself a boost. 

  • Take a deep breath before continuing on.
  • Pause momentarily at the right time to recollect yourself.
  • Sip a drink to cool off.
  • Do subtle stretches to ease muscle tension.

These tips are prevalent if you’re giving an extended presentation. Regardless, these are ways to help push yourself throughout the business meeting. It also reduces your chance of stuttering. Give yourself time to altogether retreat once your presentation is over. Avoid stacking presentations within the same day, as it will wear out your tongue. If you need to give multiple presentations in a day, make sure to have a fulfilling break. Eating can give you the energy to persevere for another round of public speaking. Specifically, sugar can give you the boost you need.

giving presentations

4. Present Your Way

Instead of going on the traditional route of nonstop speaking, you can approach your presentation by making it in your style. Presentations that serve more as a conversation between you and your coworkers are a way to present without draining your entire system. It keeps your words short and concise. It also makes the atmosphere of the meeting more lively. Ask questions to keep the conversation going or vice versa. You can also use gestures as a way to speak through body language instead of verbally.

  • Have a conversational type of presentation.
  • Ask questions.
  • Have a more hands-on or immersive presentation.
  • Don’t treat your presentation as a lecture.
  • Show more visuals and bullet points when giving presentations .
  • Keep your points straightforward.
  • Use specific examples to indulge in.
  • Express points through gestures.

If you’re allowed to bend the rules, you should take advantage of it. The presentation will come off as fun for both you and your audience if you’re able to do it comfortably.

giving presentations

5. Public Speaking Can Be Taught

Introverts tend to shy away from presentations due to public speaking, not being their natural talent. However, public speaking is a skill that even extraverts have to master. The only difference is that one side has a slightly more advantage, but nothing more. You don’t have to be an extravert to be compelling when giving presentations. 

It may take a while to fully grasp, but you can accelerate this process by willingly learning through workshops, courses, or other means that test your social skills. Good luck!

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