For some workers, having to give a presentation at work is merely part and parcel of the job. However, for others, a presentation is far more nerve-wracking; it may be part and parcel of their job, but the anxiety they feel at the prospect of standing in front of their boss and colleagues is intense.
If you fall into the latter category, mastering your presentation anxiety can benefit your career – but it’s far from easy. However, there are a few tips you may want to consider in an effort to alleviate the worst of the anxiety, starting with…
#1 – Make sure the presentation is as good as possible
One of the best ways to calm your nerves for a presentation is to work on the presentation itself. After all, the better the presentation is, the more confident you will feel in your work, and the more likely it is that you will be able to control your nerves.
Start working on your presentation, both in terms of information and visual display, as soon as possible; doing so helps to ensure that you have time to assemble your central points, research using AI in order to produce superior visuals within minutes, and double and triple check the presentation works precisely as it should before the big day.
#2 – Avoid over-rehearsing
If you’re nervous about a presentation, the temptation to continually rehearse can be overwhelming – and rehearsing can, of course, help you to refine the display to a point where you feel more comfortable. However, be very cautious of over-rehearsing, especially when you’re tired; if you go through the entire presentation repeatedly, you will – purely from a statistical standpoint – make mistakes during each repetition, which can actually make you more nervous.
You, therefore, need to find a balance; rehearse enough so that you are comfortable with the material, but when you’ve made it through a rehearsal successfully, resist the urge to continue rehearsing for that day
#3 – Try deep breathing
Taking a deep breath is a standard recommendation for those struggling with nerves in any situation, but it’s one that tends to draw skepticism – how effective can an act as simple as breathing actually be? Well, the science says that deep breathing genuinely can help to calm nerves, so it’s at least worth giving a try.
Take a few deep breaths every time you find yourself feeling nervous about the presentation to see if it helps you; if it does, then you’ll know to use the same technique on presentation day itself.
#4 – Imagine a supportive friend standing in the crowd
When giving your presentation, it can be helpful to imagine a supportive friend is standing at the back of the room, encouraging you from start to finish. You can pick a fixture of the room to act as your friend’s “eyes” – somewhere for you to focus, such as the top of a window or a desk drawer, when you need a boost.
Presentation anxiety can be difficult to defeat, but hopefully, the tips above should help to calm some of your nerves and ensure that you feel as comfortable as possible with the situation the next time it is required. Good luck!