8 tips for conquering presentation nerves
Conquer your Presentation Nerves
Even the most seasoned of speakers get nervous before making a presentation both in person or online. Here are 8 tips to conquer those presentation nerves.
Even the most seasoned of speakers gets presentation nerves - so don't be surprised if you do. It's normal. We worry about being boring, people leaving the meeting, forgetting our content, needing to go to the bathroom, being unable to answer questions, keeping the audience engaged, or technology letting us down. The list is endless. I once saw a top politician have a bad case of brain freeze on national television. She just forgot her main points.
With the recent move to #WFH during the Covid19 pandemic there is an increase in online presentations, events and meetings. We can use the same tips for in person or online, just adapting our body language and managing our own technology, which can be daunting.
But some nerves are good, it means the adrenalin is kicking in.
So here are 8 tips that help even experienced presenter make a flawless delivery!
Tip 1: Think positive thoughts!
Focus on how well you are going to do rather than get caught up in a cycle of self-destructive negative thoughts. Remember you can't live a positive life with a negative mind and that philosophy drills down to every thought you have. Yes, every one! If you convince yourself you are going to mess up, the chances are ...you will. Own your capacity for success and you will succeed!
Tip 2: Channel your energy
Whether you do the TED star Amy Cuddy power pose, stretch out, voice exercises or stand on your chair and howl at the moon. Get to a place where you feel empowered.
Tip 3: Concentrate on something other than you
This shifts the focus from what’s going on for you, to an external object or person. Look closely at a light or door at the back of the room. The usher in the side aisle, or the woman with a blue dress in the 5th row. It doesn't matter. With the current #WFH this can be more challenging on screen. You can concentrate by working on maintaining eye contact with your camera, take a look at our virtual presence blog which includes video's with Nancy Milton to Improve your Virtual Presence Instantly.
Tip 4: Don't forget to breathe!
Whether we become agitated or paralysed with nerves, breathing always helps. Body language coach Sofie-Ann Bracke recommends taking three or four deep, evenly paced, inhaling and exhaling regularly and slowly. Let your belly go and the breath move all the way down into your abdomen. This centres your energy and focuses your thoughts.
Tip 5: Control your body language
Beware of the nervous ticks that kick in when you are in front of an audience. Whether it's playing with your glasses, fiddling with your hair, tapping your fingers or foot, or sitting/standing awkwardly and rocking from side to side, we all have little strategies that help us feel comfortable. Ask for feedback from a trusted coach or colleague and practise in front of a mirror to self-monitor. Conscious rehearsed movement is perfectly fine says Sofie-Ann, especially if it resonates and is in time with your verbal content to make a message more impactful.
Tip 6: Vary the pitch of your delivery
You can strengthen your message by adjusting the tone and pace of your delivery. Make sure that it is line with the content and the emphasis you want to convey. Rehearse well so that you are pitch perfect! If you have a strong accent compensate by allowing pauses so that people understand you. If you use regional colloquialisms think about providing a translation service.
You can throw in a bit of humour, the most powerful tool for nerves there is!
Tip 7: Drink water before you start talking!
If you get a dry throat or mouth, drink water before you start speaking off stage or camera. No you won't need the bathroom! Once on the stage the glugging sound will be picked up by the audio. Practise your voice warming exercises at the same time between sips.
Tip 8: Prepare for the unexpected
Everyone wants you to succeed, but sometimes things go wrong even with masses of practise and rehearsing. Have a few little disaster one liners up your sleeve - just in case. It helps break the tension for both you and the audience. Oscar Wilde, Mark Twain and George Bernard Shaw are all good regular fall backs!
Here's one from Miley Cyrus:
I always say the minute I stop making mistakes is the minute I stop learning and I've definitely learned a lot.
Need help with your presentation skills? - then Contact Us we can help.
Found that interesting?
Learn more about our services
Make your dreams a reality with a professional evaluation of your career to date.
The evidence is in. More women in your company can deliver 35% greater financial returns. (Catalyst)
Dates for the Diary
We have Remote Learning Programs available
Check out our exciting portfolio of offerings to support your business in upskilling and competence building for your teams, to address the unprecedented challenges that women face in this new totally a digital world.
Download and listen free podcasts
How to Create an Effective USP What is a USP? Our Unique Selling Point or UVP (Unique Value Proposition) is our key core message about where...read more
How to Rethink the Modern Workplace for Gender Equality New research shows that diversity and inclusion is a top priority for leaders. So why...read more
Menopause in the workplace In this podcast with Nicki Williams award winning author, keynote speaker and Founder of Happy Hormones for Life,...read more
How to Cultivate Empathy in the Workplace Nancy Milton, international business communications expert, keynote speaker and author, share some vital...read more
Taking Care of your COW Tanvi Guatam, international Personal Branding expert says there is a misconception out there that a personal brand is...read more
The importance of Hard Talk Dawn Metcalfe, author of Managing the Matrix and Hard Talk, shares with us tips to achieve the lasting communication...read more
When Does Female Rivalry Turn into Sabotage There’s a lot of stuff written on social media about female rivalry and competition between women. Some...read more
Goal setting tips to boost your career The happiest people are those that really love their jobs. Those that don’t, dread Sunday nights and...read more
How to Get Noticed by Head Hunters & Recruiters In this power coaching podcast, we're going to tackle one of the questions asked multiple...read more
I posed this question to my LinkedIn network “Should candidates take and read notes in interviews… or not?” Who would have thought that it could have generated such a heated discussion. The career and hiring sector is clearly not on the same page on this issue.read more
Virtual Presentations – Managing The Chat! 5 years later the expert guidance on virtual presentations hasn’t changed by more than a pinch..read more
Read our interview with Lara Morgan best selling author, millionaire entrepreneur, proud mother of three. She is determined to be a voice for growth enterprise support as well as driving sales pride in Britain.read more