Finding Your Calm Before A Presentation

Presentations can be terrifying - I know the fear that goes along with speaking in front of people all too well. Whether I'm at school or at work, there is always that one assignment, or one project, that involves giving a presentation. I've never been a fan of being the centre of attention. I prefer to absorb all that is going on around me. However, I've learned that public speaking is a part of life that we can't, and shouldn't, avoid. Here are some tips for relieving stress and getting into a good state of mind before/while giving a presentation:

  • Take deep breaths. I repeat, take DEEP breaths.
  • Know your stuff. Whatever the topic, it is crucial that you have a good grasp on what you will be talking about. This leads me to my third tip -
  • Practice, practice, practice. You know what they say - practice makes perfect. When you are confident in your knowledge as well your ability to impart that knowledge, it will show.
  • Stay hydrated. Drink a glass of water so that your voice comes out as clearly as possible. I also find that drinking water calms my nerves.
  • Remember that the audience is made up of people like you and that they all get nervous before giving presentations.
  • Finally, go out there and have fun! Whether it's by making a few lighthearted jokes to break the ice or asking the audience some questions to encourage their participation, find a way to have a good time.
If I can do it, so can you.