Public Speaking Preparation: Tips for a Business Analyst

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microphoneDuring the past few RA trainings at ArgonDigital, the requirements analysts (or “the newbies” of the company) have been giving mock presentations and receiving direct criticism. As we are all fairly new to our positions and still learning the space, most of us get nervous when we speak. Probably less so than some in other fields, as part of our interview process requires us to deliver information to an audience effectively, but the butterflies in the stomach still exist. If you have any fear while facing an audience, these are a few tips that may help to quell your qualms about your next public speech:

  • You will eventually have to present, whether it’s to a small group of subject matter experts, or to a larger audience of business stakeholders, at some point in your career as a business analyst you will need to stand up and speak to your project. While many introverts would love to be able to hash things out in offline reviews, it simply isn’t time effective or conducive to group work. Once you acknowledge it as a necessity in the business world (and many other sectors) and start familiarizing yourself with the base skills to excel at speaking, it will become less of a bother and more of a boon. Remember that if you’re able to speak to your friends and family then you’ll be able to speak to others as well, you may just need a little practice.
  • Another important thing to remember is that almost everyone gets nervous when speaking publicly; most studies list the number two fear in the United States as death, only being surpassed by a fear of public speaking. Your audience likely understands your nervous jitters, and has experienced them at least once or twice.
  • A failed speech isn’t one that contains stumbles in wording or presentation, but one that fails to engage the audience. It is incredibly unlikely for someone in the audience to be rooting for you to fail, nobody wants to be bored. They are listening to whatever presentation you are giving for some reason, likely similar to yours– not to be a disinterested warm body, but to actually come away with some sort of new knowledge or accomplish something.
  • Remember that the more you speak publicly, the better you will become at speaking.  The old adage that practice makes perfect has survived because it is true with most everything.  Accept any opportunity you have to present, especially in practice scenarios.
    You can only get better, and these are the chances to do so.

Read my next blog post for some tips on the actual delivery and preparation of presentations.  Until then, best of luck on your presentation!

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