Does just the thought of doing a presentation make you nervous? Do you try to avoid thinking about it? Maybe you delay preparing for it?
But then the more you delay preparing, the less time there will be to plan and practice. Because you haven’t prepared, the presentation doesn’t go as well as it could. You then get even more nervous next time – a downward spiral of nervousness.
There are many techniques which will help you feel calmer about your presentation, both leading up to it and on the day.
The most effective long-term solution is to understand and resolve the root cause. We do this through our programme known as ‘Taming your Public Speaking Monkeys’, these are the voices in your head that manage to sabotage all your efforts.
• Plan to prepare! Don’t use lack of time as an excuse. Block out time to prepare and practice – and keep to it.
• Have a clear structure. You will feel more relaxed if you know you have included everything. Learn about How to structure a presentation.
• Practice but don’t ‘over practice’. When you follow our structure, you won’t work with a script. You will work with key points so you can relax and not worry about ‘forgetting your words’. It will be slightly different every time and that is fine.
• Ask for feedback from a friend or colleague. Explain the purpose of your presentation and what you want the audience to gain from listening to you. Ask for feedback from that perspective.
• Know the venue and the audience. Arrive in plenty of time to get set up and test the sound in the room. Meet and greet people as they come in so you build rapport with your audience before you start.
• Deep breathing is vital for relaxation. Do a few long, slow, deep breaths. This can be in the moments before you start and will maximise the flow of oxygen around your body and brain. This interrupts the Adrenalin response and enables the body to adopt a normal relaxed response.
To deliver at your best you need to be relaxed, as well feel relaxed.
A few butterflies or a sense of anticipation is positive energy. The key is to use this as helpful enthusiastic energy that inspires your audience.
If you would like to learn more about resolving the root cause of your nervousness when presenting through ‘Taming your Public Speaking Monkeys’ you can: