July 15, 2021 , by Dr Julian Northbrook

Presenting ideas in English can be intimidating.

This is why you feel less confident about presenting your ideas in English in front of people.

It happens to the best of us, hell even me.

But what you need to do, first and foremost, is to focus on what you do well rather than what you don’t do well. And you know, this is similar to the conversations I’ve had with my coaching clients. They tell me that they feel devastated because they completely messed up their 3-hour presentation in English.

And when I ask them “how many things did you mess up within those three hours?” and they reply with: “well, just one”… and of course you’re going to feel like you messed it up if you’re only going to focus on that one mistake!

Again, it’s human nature to focus on that tiny percentage that we can’t do. But it’s important to recognise the things that you’re doing well. Because chances are, 98% of what you’re doing is already spectacularly good. It’s just that 2% that’s still not quite as good yet.

Simultaneously, you also want to learn from those things that you couldn’t do.

A good method to learn how to deal with this is something called “retrodictive learning”. It’s where you interpret your past actions and then you figure out an alternate solution to it. And it can be as simple as writing it down and then spotting things you could have said instead.

But next time you present in English, perhaps you can try this:

When you feel like you forgot a word or two and you’re not confident in saying it… DO IT ANYWAY.

You might even surprise yourself by explaining it better than you expected. Or not.

But, the point is, treat it as a learning experience either way.

So that’s what I would suggest you do, alongside being kind to yourself. Give yourself the credit you deserve and notice the good things. Don’t just focus on the bad things.

If you need some help in doing this, you can start with the one-hour free training that I created. You’ll learn the 5 key changes my best clients make to improve their English as higher-level English learners. You can go to this link if this interests you.

Hope this helps.

Dr Julian Northbrook