Saturday, 10 August 2019 19:48

How do you stop crying when giving a presentation?

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Unless you’re pleading for your life when facing a decision of either the gas chamber or the electric chair, you probably shouldn’t be crying in your presentation.

Crying is a maladaptive reaction to stimuli that causes you grief. Some may question my use of the term ‘maladaptive’ to describe crying, saying it is perfectly normal to cry. Yes, for the most part it is but not in a speech or presentation.

This would indicate you are talking about a subject that is still sensitive to you and you’re not ready to speak publicly about it. While you want to share your emotions with your audience, getting them crying doesn’t work in your favour. It could have the unintended effect of bringing their own grief to the surface and having them start crying. This of course would take away from the message and intention of your presentation.

You would be better off avoiding speaking about subjects that create pain or grief until you are comfortable with sharing the stories, thoughts and feelings publicly.

In other cases, crying may be a sign of nervousness and severe anxiety. In cases such as this, one of the proven solutions is to desensitize yourself to public speaking. That would mean getting up and speaking, stepping out of your comfort zone and stretching your speaking muscle as often as you can.

The more you speak, the more self-confident you will become and the more experienced you become as a speaker.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention looking for a Toastmasters club in your community where you can practice your public speaking and build your self-confidence. These two factors would go a long way in minimizing your tendency to cry when speaking publicly.

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