Presentation anxiety is extremely common. Most of us feel our palms beginning to sweat at the thought of standing up in front of an audience and giving a presentation. Racing heart, lightheadedness and shallow breathing can visit us even weeks before the dreaded event. However, with a bit of planning and some good skills you can greatly reduce the anticipation anxiety and look forward to feeling calm and confident in front of your clients.
1. Think About the Audience, Not Yourself - Instead of thinking about all the ways you can mess up, turn the spotlight on your audience and think about all the ways you can help them by giving a good presentation.
2. Use Building Blocks -Whether your presentation will run for 20 minutes, 30 minutes, an hour, or even more, you can stay focused on your topic and keep your rhythm going by breaking down your presentation into 10-minute building blocks.
3. Plan to Pause - Don’t rush through your points, and don’t rush your audience. Pause to give them time to consider what you said and to give yourself time to gather your thoughts and tackle your next point.
4. Record and Review - Record yourself on your phone or camera and see how you look giving your presentation. Go over your recording and make notes for improvement. Or practice in an open conference room with a group of your peers.
5. Get There Early - Ever got stuck in traffic and arrived late at the office for a regular day’s work? Stressful, wasn’t it? Arriving early gives you a chance to familiarise yourself with your surroundings so you can feel more at ease during your presentation.
6. Test the Technology - Technology can sometimes fail us, but there’s no reason to let that cause you anxiety. Simply prepare beforehand so you can remain calm during any mishaps.