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Ep. 5: Why do I feel fine having conversations in meetings, but feel nervous giving presentations?

“I feel really comfortable when I’m just discussing whatever the topic at hand is. But it could be the same topic and if it’s presented as ‘Cameron, the floor is yours,’ I start to get really nervous.” – Cameron Cramer

Today on Speaking Of… I’m joined by my partner, Cameron Cramer.

Cameron is a non-performer working in YouTube marketing, and he asked: why do I feel fine having conversations in meetings, but feel really nervous giving presentations? This question is a really common one for people in the professional/corporate world, but it’s also relevant for performers who often feel a shift in their ability to be present in different performance scenarios.

Cameron and I talk about how the context we give ourselves around speaking engagements ultimately decides how we respond to those scenarios, and why we must give ourselves a positive context in order to find enjoyment in any speaking scenario. We also discuss some of the public-speaking tips he’d been given over the years and how that “one-size-fits-all” approach has been unhelpful.

Interview Highlights:

  • How the context of the speaking engagement affects how good (or bad) we feel when speaking.

  • How who—or what—we give our attention to affects the clarity of what we’re describing.

  • The practice of reframing circumstances so that you find enjoyment in any speaking (or performance) scenario.

  • The importance of eye contact, as well as why establishing rules about making eye contact could make you less present.

  • The tool of practicing in front of an imagined audience in advance of the actual speaking engagement.

  • Some of the different “tips” often taught around public speaking—and why they might not be useful for everyone.

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