Got a big presentation coming up? Nerves getting the better of you?
Good news: you can learn to overcome all that and conquer stage fright.
A sure-fire way to reduce performance anxiety is to be well-prepared. Sounds like common sense, yet some still choose to succumb to mini panic attacks!
Here are a few easy steps you can follow the next time you have to make a presentation:
Your audience is listening to you because they believe you’re an expert on the subject, or at least that’s what you’re trying to convince them of! So it’s important to speak confidently and be sure of your material, or people will lose trust in you.
Know your stuff
How can you be sure of your material? Go over it thoroughly and make sure you really are an expert on the topic. If you’re not one, then it’s time to become the expert.
Don’t know an answer? Be honest and don’t try to bluff. The worst thing you can do is lie – without credibility, your reputation is pretty much ruined.
Put yourself in the shoes of the audience. What questions might people ask? Think of the answers before you give your presentation.
A good way to field questions before they’re asked is to include the answers in your presentation, or be prepared for a question and answer session at the end.
Memorise the first minute
For most, the anxiety is worst at the start of a presentation. To avoid fumbling, blanking out and setting an awkward tone for the entire presentation, what you can do is memorise the first minute. Once you know your opening, it should give you a better start. Just be sure you know your material!
Below is an example of great delivery of a speech.
Check out Kenny Brooks, salesman extraordinaire. What do you think of his presentation skills? Does he make a compelling case?