Mark Twain once said "There are two kinds of speakers: those that are nervous and those that are liars." That’s so true.
So if you’ve been asked to give a presentation even if you feel excited, confident, inspired, and can’t wait to get going, you’re likely to feel a little nervous.
On the other hand, you feel stressed, anxious, sick, overwhelmed, and maybe weak at the knees at the thought of it. These tips may help you to reflect on what you already do well or what you may need to do to get better.
I have a little mantra that I follow when preparing for a presentation:
Research: if you have researched the group you are delivering the talk to then you will be confident that you are pitching your presentation at the right level. If you have researched the topic you are speaking about fully, then it gives you the confidence to know you can handle questions for the floor,
Rehearse: I can’t emphasise enough how important this step is (either with a kind friend or in front of your mirror). With rehearsal you can, 1: get your timing correct – invaluable if you are one of a groups of speakers; 2: see how your talk flows particularly if you have slides that are going with it. On that note I can’t be the only person who embarrassingly has glitches with PowerPoint! 3: You hear the words yourself so you can make any adjustments if it doesn’t sound quite right.
Relax: remember you have been asked to talk, so your audience are interested to hear what you have to say. Before you get up on stage take some calming breaths, relax your shoulders. You can easily go to the loo just before and whilst your there, this is an easy breathing exercise to do. Breathe in-hold for a count of 3; breathe out – hold for a count of 3; then repeat. Give it a go!
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