Five Fabulous Tips To Survive Your Next Presentation
Today’s post is written by Dawn Stanyon, a Professional Image Consultant at The Emily Post Institute. Dawn also writes a very classy blog filled with professional development inspiration at professionality.tumblr.com.
Today I received a text from my daughter: “Please call me as soon as you can.” A text like this is a red flag emblazoned with the words, “Help! I have a problem!”
What was the problem? A five-minute presentation on hemoglobin to her health sciences class.
I shared with her five quick pointers before she headed into the lion’s den and I’d like to share those public speaking survival tips with you today.
How to Rock Your Next Presentation
The ultimate way to calm nerves is to invest time in preparing. People often research, write and read through but they don’t take the final step: saying it out loud. What often happens in presentations is people hear themselves and then get thrown off because they don’t like the way they sound.
The night before, go into the laundry room or your computer room – anywhere you can be alone – and say the presentation out loud to the dryer or desk chair. They are excellent audience members.
[Related Post: 4 Amazing Presentation Tricks]
Do some positive self-talk and say something like this: “This is going to go well. But even if it doesn’t, it will come and it will go and in a half-hour, I will be looking back on this knowing it’s done. All things good and bad come and go.” Chant it to yourself in your car on the way to the presentation if that helps.
Primal Scream…then breath!
Some of us have quite severe presentation anxiety. You are not alone! When I first started doing public speaking, I would relieve my stress by yelling in the car (don’t knock it until you’ve tried it). After you’ve parked the car, breathe. No shallow breaths allowed. Sit up straight, Breath in deeply from your diaphragm through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Repeat this at least five times, getting lots of oxygen to your brain. This will also help to clarify your thinking.
Butterflies are our friends
Those wretched butterflies battering qround in your stomach – let’s rethink that image. What if those butterflies are actually excited? What if they want to help you enthusiastically share your information? What if that feeling is energy instead of dread? Consider that!
You know more than they do
Ultimately remember, you are the expert. You are prepared to do the presentation. You know more than your audience. They aren’t going to know that you missed a point. They aren’t going to care that you have to skip over a slide. They are going to be interested in your content because you know your stuff and you are an engaging and enthusiastic presenter.
Do presentations make you nervous? How do you cope?