On face value, you might seemingly be the most confident person in the world. However, put yourself in a presentation environment and all of that confidence evaporates into thin air.
In short, presentations are something that can even beat even the best of us. Up until now, you might have relied on cigarettes (or the modern e-liquid flavours to mask the traditional smoking odour!) as you attempt to stay on top of your nerves, but there are other approaches.
Through today’s article we will now take a look at some of the best things you can do to quash your nerves ahead of your big day.
The power of the pause
It sounds utterly simple, but you might be surprised at just how powerful adding a few pauses into your presentation can be.
One of the most common mistakes speakers have is presenting too quickly. With their nerves getting the better of them, they start to speak more quickly before eventually running out of breath. The easiest solution is to slow down, add a few pauses, and just take control of your situation.
Practice out loud
Simply knowing your material like the back of your hand can provide you with the perfect platform for your presentation. After all, if you have all of your knowledge stored, theoretically there shouldn’t be anything to worry about.
This is where adequate practice comes into the picture. Simply running through your presentation an hour before the big reveal isn’t going to cut it – this won’t provide you with the background you need. Instead, you need to be going over this material umpteen times, preferably out loud. Do this, and you’ll soon find that the words just keep flowing out of your mouth – your brain will be utterly comfortable with what you have prepared.
As a side note, try and avoid just reading from a script. If you follow this path, you’ll generally find that you start to think all sorts of negative thoughts as you read, and your nerves simply get worse.
Know your subject
In some ways, this next point relates very closely to the previous one. Standing in front of an audience is daunting, but if you possess more knowledge than this audience you can at least feel as though you hold the upper hand. Sure, it won’t always be possible, but arming yourself with as much knowledge about the subject as possible is an instant method to transform confidence.
Finally, we can’t emphasize enough the importance of arriving on time to your presentation. Suffice to say, if you don’t, you are going to be arriving in a fluster and just worsening your nerves as you bid to set everything up in a fraction of the time.
It’s not just about the set up process, either. By arriving early to your presentation you will also have time to suss out your audience and just get used to the surroundings. This can be invaluable in your battle against nerves.