Blog by Aalia Daneshmend, Digita Senior Marketing Executive
Anxiety can make or break a presentation and a bad case of the nerves can unravel even the best presenter. The adrenaline flowing through your body can turn you into living jelly – your hands shaking, palms sweating, face twitching, and voice quivering. Here are a few tips to help you power through any PowerPoint.
To come to terms with these physical symptoms, face your fears and analyse why you feel nervous. Speakers are usually afraid for some or all of these reasons:
1. Fear of the unknown
2. Fear of the audience
3. Fear of failure
4. Fear of oneself
Remembering the following points can help you come to terms with your fears:
• The 3 P’s – preparation, planning and practice
• Acknowledging your fears
• Remember that even the most experienced speakers get stage fright
• Concentrate on the audience and remember that they want to hear what you have to say
If you always think there’ll be an IT failure, or a member of the audience will fire a tricky question at you, spend a few moments writing down your “what if” scenarios. Next to them, jot down what you could do about them, such as prepare a plan B, or breathe if you forget your words and take a pause. Scenario planning will comfort you in these real life situations, because you will already have a solution to most potential issues.
You can also turn a negative into a positive – when you’re about to go on stage, instead of thinking “i’m so nervous!” think to yourself “I’m so excited!”. The feelings experienced for nerves and excitement are very similar.
Everyone has a negative inner voice – the one that says ‘i’m going to forget what i’m supposed to say” or “the audience will think my presentation is terrible”. Stop berating yourself before a presentation as this negativity will only make you doubt your performance.
When faced with the prospect of presenting, even the best presenters go into fight or flight mode. With a little perseverance and positivity, it’s possible to learn how to ooze power, confidence and authority in front of a packed auditorium.
Have you overcome nerves before and have any tips of your own to share? Please let us know by commenting below.
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