Your heart rate increases, you get sweaty palms, and you would rather be somewhere else.
No one wants you to fail!
Everyone, including your audience wants you to succeed. After all why would they choose to listen to a poor presentation?
Here are a few ideas to help you overcome that stress.
When we are nervous, we tend to need more oxygen to help us to relax. Try this exercise before you need to speak.
- Sit straight in your chair with your hands loosely clasped on your laps and with your eyes shut
- Slowly breath in as you slowly count to three
- Then breath out – again to your count of three
- As you breathe out allow your shoulders to relax towards the floor
- Repeat twice then breathe gently for a moment or two before opening your eyes in your own time
- This is an excellent remedy for panic! It can be used whenever things seem to be racing out of control
When you are preparing for the presentation spend a little time with your eyes closed and visualise the presentation going really well. Most nervousness is caused by our negative inner voices telling us that this will not work. Replace them with positive affirmations.
Take on a character - but be yourself!
We all hide behind characters sometimes. Doing a presentation maybe one time when that is a useful trait. Don't lose what makes you special, but you can copy ideas from people you admire.
Know what you want to say, how you are going to say it, plan for any questions. Knowing that you are fully prepared will give you more confidence. If you have the opportunity, rehearse - it is amazing how different it is in practice to being on paper.
Reduce the importance
If this presentation goes wrong, what is the worst that can happen? Most presentations are over quite quickly so think about what you are going to afterwards to celebrate how well it went!
Rescue Remedy can be a solution for some people. Made from flowers it is available in all good chemists!
Check your Equipment!
One of the most common concerns is that the presentation equipment will fail, leaving you in the lurch. It has happened to me on occasions! So you need to develop a backup plan. Have your presentation on a memory stick as well as your lap top. Can you transfer the core information if you needed to flipchart? Having a backup plan will make you feel more confident that you can carry on whatever.