Have you ever dreaded an upcoming presentation, meeting or function because you just knew that the group would be hostile? Maybe you had heard that these people are very critical, even aggressive.
*How can you prepare for such a situation even though you would prefer to disappear into thin air. *
1 Use Adversity To Make You Stronger
Very often we make our greatest breakthroughs in the face of huge challenges. We improve our performance overnight because we absolutely have to so as to avoid dire consequences. It might even be a case of get this result now or lose your job.
Knowing that you will be facing a hostile crowd, why not decide now to prepare for the presentation better than you have ever done before. Decide that you will absolutely take charge of the situation and then devise a plan to make sure you will be awesome when the pressure is on.
Work on the content of your presentation, your delivery, and especially on how you will interact with a difficult audience. Anticipate heckling, negative responses and resistance. Then decide before the event how you will deal with it. Devise answers and responses for stupid questions and boorish behavior.
All too often we do a little preparation before a big event and then just hope that it will all turn out right. If professional sportspeople approached their work like that sport would not even be worth watching. If all those famous singers, dancers and comedians did not constantly work on their skills BEFORE a performance then you would never have heard of them.
Giving a presentation takes very little time, and it is the tip of the iceberg, an iceberg that you sculpt in the days before the event.
Think for a moment about how much time you spend in preparation for a speech, a job interview or a meeting. Now DOUBLE the time you normally invest in yourself. Spend time on becoming excellent instead of just aiming to be good.
Use the force against you to become stronger - turn the threat into an opportunity. The stronger the breeze, the stronger the trees.
2 State Management
To perform well when the crowd is openly hostile it is critical to be able to maintain your composure. You will need to be cool under pressure despite the negativity that you see and hear in front of you. If you need a magic wand then anchoring is the answer.
Anchoring is the single most effective way of taking charge of your emotional state. With an anchor you can change how you feel in an instant, I devote an entire chapter to it in my e-book because it is such an important skill to master.
Consider for a moment - *if you could feel any way you wanted to, how would you like to feel in the face of hostility*
Write down the various answers that come to mind. Maybe you would like to feel confident, powerful, energetic, or even courageous.
Now, refer to my chapter on anchoring if you need a reminder, then set up an anchor for those resourceful feelings that you will need in the heat of the moment when the pressure is on.
Then later on when you are speaking, whenever you need to, you can fire your anchor and instantly go from feeling overwhelmed to feeling confident and strong.
By the way, if you have never used anchoring you are in for a mind blowing experience.
3 Disaster Planning
The final stage is to run through worst case scenarios for your upcoming presentation. Think about what could go wrong, what might go wrong, and even, what is unlikely to happen that would be catastrophic if it did happen.
Then work out a plan to deal as best you can with each scenario. Until you have completed this stage you are not ready to face the crowd.
By the way, you are the best person to devise your strategy because your approach must fit with your personality and presentation style. Make sure you feel happy with your plan before you decide to implement it, otherwise on the big day you could well end up getting stuck. Not knowing what to do, you could just end up feeling confused.
The presentation itself is the tip of the iceberg - be sure you sculpt a fine iceberg that will not melt under the spotlight.
Peter Murphy is a peak performance expert. He recently produced a very popular free report: 10 Simple Steps to Developing Communication Confidence. This report reveals the secret strategies all high achievers use to communicate with charm and impact. Apply now because it is available for a limited time only at: http://www.howtotalkwithconfidence.com/report.htm