Tips to overcome presentation anxiety

Tips to overcome presentation anxiety

 Do you feel your heart pounding out of your chest or your voice quivering and hands shaking right before you are about to give a presentation? “What if I fall flat on my face?”, “What if I forget everything suddenly?” or “What if people lose interest will I lose it?” Do these absurd questions bother you just before you have to walk into a room full of people with all the eyes on you?

Be it an excellent orator or amateur, everyone goes through a similar ride of nervousness. All of this is nothing but a mere adrenaline rush. It’s a proven fact that the fear of public speaking in people around the globe is more than the fear of death. Though it’s not a matter of life or death, people still feel as if it is. Maybe all this is a result of the ‘fear of getting judged’. 

Here are a few tips and tricks to overcome presentation anxiety:

  • Acceptance of anxiety

Know that it is very normal to feel nervous and anxious before you have to address a group of people. And it is okay to feel so. Sometimes, nervousness can be transformed into positive energy and can help you give a kickass presentation. Fun fact: people who usually go through nervousness and anxiety before a presentation are more likely to turn out as better speakers. So let your mind be at peace with little anxiety kicking in. 

  • Be well prepared

Going through your content multiple times will boost your confidence. Make sure you have read your speech thoroughly several times. Now it’s not necessary to mug up each word and deliver your material line to line as it was written. Always keep space for improvisation. When you try and learn every single word of your speech it is likely to put you under more pressure of forgetting things. Hence, it is advisable to be well versed in what you have to deliver.

  • Fumbling and forgetting

A very common fear is the ‘fear of forgetting’. The thought of forgetting will cross your mind a zillion times when you are learning something. Fumbling is interconnected with this. Did you know your brain can’t tell the difference between an imagined activity and a real one? Imagine the ideal situation i.e. ‘You are confidently walking up to the podium and speaking without any pauses or stuttering, enunciating every word properly, and then practicing in front of a mirror or recording your speech. Note the mistakes and work on them. Repeat this exercise until your speech becomes fluent. Another hack you can follow is to ‘use cue cards’. This might work wonders for some people but for some, it can prove to be a ‘distraction’. So choose whatever floats your boat.

  • Be prepared for the worst

Surprises make the nerves kick in. Just remember whenever you feel like ‘it won’t possibly get worse, it will get worse. Think in advance of the tough or absurd questions people might throw at you and prepare yourself for it. This will help you not panic at the moment. 

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