The power of five: 5 Techniques to Calm the Pre-Presentation Nerves

The power of five: 5 Techniques to Calm the Pre-Presentation Nerves

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If you have ever been nervous about giving a presentation to a large group of people, then you know how it feels to be on the verge of losing your mind. This article is for anyone who had ever had to give a presentation and wanted to run away from the stage before they even started! Some simple techniques can help calm those nerves and ensure that your talk goes off without a hitch.

In addition to the techniques below, it's a good idea to practice your presentation as much as possible if you typically get nervous. Presenting is a skill that can be learned and perfected with time. Once you feel comfortable giving regularly, it gets easier every time!

  1. First up - we have two physiological tricks (from David J Philips) that are pretty mind-blowing. Before you give your presentation, if you're feeling anxious or negative - take a minute & focus on keeping your eyeballs still (that's right, you heard us). For your brain to think, it needs your eyes to move, so as you stop the moving - it won't be able to do the rumination it usually does. Do this for 30 seconds while breathing deeply & you'll be amazed at how calm you feel after. The second David Philips tick - is to sit on a chair, lean back, tilt your eyes up with your head (so you're looking at the ceiling) & take a few deep breaths. Due to a change of brainwaves - you instantly get a feeling of relief. Try this both right now & let us know what you think?

2.  Practice Presenting with Your Eyes Closed: This is a great way to get over the anxiety of being watched by an audience while presenting your speech or talk at any event. It's best practice to have someone record you as you present this exercise so that later on when it comes time for your presentation, you can watch yourself give the same presentation without feeling anxious about what might happen next.

3. A Physical Warm-Up: A good physical warm-up will help you feel less anxious and more confident about getting up in front of many people. You can do some simple stretching exercises like touching your toes or standing on one leg with the other bent at 90 degrees and holding it for 30 seconds, then switching sides and repeating until you feel ready to go! During the presentation, try to be mindful of your posture - stand tall and proud because not only will it fool the audience, but it'll also trick your mind too

4. Keep It Short & Sweet: Not only do presentations over 20 minutes long tend to lose their audience's attention quickly, but they also can help stop you from drifting or rambling if you're a little nervous! Have mental checkpoints at different slides & practise your pacing. A good rule is anywhere from 15-20 minutes - anything longer than that will most likely cause your listeners' eyes (and minds) to start glazing over before you even get through half of what is planned.

5. Presentation Meditation: We've shouted out this headspace presentation meditation before, but it's so good we're going to do it again.

Presentations are meant to be challenging! Presenting is all about learning and growing as a professional.

Remain positive & remember that nothing can go wrong because it hasn't happened yet.

Stay calm and focused on what needs to get done right now, which means speaking clearly without sounding like you're rushing through anything, keeping eye contact with everyone in the front row (even though this might make you feel awkward), smiling periodically throughout your speech, breaking up big chunks of information by using simple transition sentences or phrases such as "in addition" or "another thing I want to mention before moving onto the next topic."

You've got this!!

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