‘My English isn’t good enough to present’ is the most common statement I hear from my clients who are anxious about presenting in English. And I’m talking about people who have an upper intermediate or advanced level!
But in the case of most of my clients, believing their English is not good enough to present is simply not true. If I’m having a fluent conversation with them, then their English IS good enough to present; it’s not the English that’s the problem, the problem is their mind-set.
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Do you identify with this situation?
If you do, then we have work to do. Because this mind-set will hold you back from giving a decent presentation in English with all the subsequent implications of miscommunication – lost sales, project delays etc.
Where does this debilitating mind-set come from and how can we overcome it?
Speaking in public is a very common fear. And this fear which gives rise to a negative mindset usually comes from:
- Thinking you should be able to present exactly as you do in your native language.
- Overestimating negative judgement from the audience.
- Comparing yourself unfavourably to colleagues.
- Thinking that perfect English is the most important factor in communication.
- Focusing on worst-case scenarios that never materialise.
- Underestimating the value of your own message and perspectives.
Given that you have a good enough level of English to communicate, coaching you around these limiting beliefs helps you to see how untrue they are. This is the very first step to becoming a competent presenter.
Without a doubt, it takes time and patience, but once new thinking is in place, thinking that your level of English IS good enough, the difference it makes to performance is HUGE. Presenting with confidence in English can help you achieve many things. It can help you influence a Board of Directors for example. It can help you win new clients for your company and generally, it can help you go much further in your professional career. Do you need to present in English but lack self-confidence? If so, I have a gift for you – a presentation tool-box full of free resources you can download here.