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How to not be nervous for a presentation: techniques that will help

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We have collected the most popular techniques and techniques that will help you cope with stage fright. And to not be nervous for a presentation

How to not be nervous for a presentation: Understand what you are afraid of.


One of the most effective ways to not be nervous for a presentation and deal with fear or anxiety is to voice your feelings and find their true cause. It is better to do this not before the performance but in advance. Imagine that you have to go on stage in front of a large audience, answer an examiner or an entire Commission. What do you feel? What exactly is unpleasant to you that causes discomfort? The reasons may be different: people’s attention, fear of making a mistake, fear that everyone will laugh, fear of not meeting the allotted time.

To understand the nature of your fears and relieve your anxiety, answer the question: “What is the worst thing that can happen if the performance or response is unsuccessful?» The most frequent options: “Laugh at me”, “I’m gonna get a bad grade” “I rack up enough points, I feel like a loser.” But do not stop at the most frequent reasons — give free rein to your imagination, list everything that comes to mind. Imagine the colors of the most terrible consequences, and then how you will deal with them. When you rationalize your fears and voice them, they weaken and become easier to control. An additional useful effect of the exercise is the appearance of alternate actions in case of failure.

Take the time to prepare


Good preparation will help reduce the fear of speaking or taking an oral exam. It is not just about knowing the subject or topic of the report, you need to prepare for the answer itself.

How to prepare for a speech:

  • think through the structure of a report or message;
  • prepare a response plan;
  • formulate and remember the keywords that the response will be based on;
  • come up with questions that may come from the audience or the teacher and prepare answers;
  • rehearse a speech: you can practice at home on your parents, siblings, repeat the report in front of a mirror, or record it on camera;
  • if possible, get acquainted with the place of the future speech, stand at the blackboard or at the lectern;
  • if you can not visit the place of performance— mentally replay your speech in the audience, imagine the examiner or the audience.

Don’t be too demanding of yourself


Remember: most people feel insecure when speaking in public. Many novice speakers think that the audience is always critical and will find fault with every word. But this is not true! Listeners rarely notice small stutters, pauses, or errors in word usage, and if they do, they are easily forgiven. This also applies to examiners — they are usually neutral or friendly and calmly react to minor flaws in speech if your answer is generally correct. The only exception is the Russian language exam, which evaluates the coherence of speech and the number of speech errors.

By making adequate demands on the quality of your performance, you will remove at least one reason for excitement and anxiety. Experienced speakers use the following technique to do this: they intentionally do something wrong: for example, they drop a folder with a report or display the wrong presentation slide, immediately pay attention to it and correct the mistake with a smile. This helps you relax and connect with your audience.

Learn to deal with anxiety


The human psyche and physiology are closely interrelated. If we experience fear, our breathing becomes faster and our muscles tighten. The opposite is also true: if you establish control over your breath and body, your emotional state will stabilize. Proper breathing not only calms but also affects the rate of speech, making the voice deeper.

To calm down before performing, sit in a comfortable position, close your eyes, and focus on the sensations in your body, tracking tension and muscle spasms. It is better to move from top to bottom — the facial muscles, neck, shoulder girdle, arms, stomach, legs. Breathing deeply, you need to direct your attention to the desired part of the body and achieve its relaxation. The exercise takes from 5 to 10 minutes.

Excitement is usually accompanied by the release of stress hormones. To get rid of excess adrenaline, you need to actively move for a few minutes: walk, squat, perform hand swings, or push-UPS.

Relaxation exercise


Slowly raise and lower your shoulders. Lower your head first to one shoulder, then to the other. Raise your hands and bring them down with a sharp movement, as if shaking off water. Shake your palms, relaxing your hands and fingers. Each element is repeated 2-3 times.

Breathing exercise


Breath — pause — a continuation of the breath — pause — a continuation of the breath. Continue until you feel that your lungs are completely filled with air. After this, also slowly exhale, making small pauses.

Double inhale: inhale-inhale-exhale-exhale, and so on several times.

Rhythmic breathing. Slowly inhale, counting to 8, hold your breath, count to 8 more, then slowly exhale the same 8 counts. The breathing rhythm can be different — for example, for 4 or 6 counts. The main thing is that you are comfortable.

Use “power techniques”


For some it is a certain appearance, for example, a business suit, someone helps to turn an object in their hands, for example, a pencil. Someone is comforted by a “happy” pebble or any other trinket in their pocket. Remember and use what gives you confidence.

Try to change your posture — stand up straight, straighten your shoulders, lift your chin. If you feel a surge of confidence, remember this feeling and watch your posture during the performance.

Pleasant memories help you gain confidence. Remember the last time you felt confident and calm. Mentally recreate this situation in the smallest detail, and you will feel yourself returning to the right emotional state, becoming more relaxed and balanced.

Perform


The best way to get rid of the fear of public speaking forever is through constant practice. Go out to the audience at any opportunity or create them yourself: participate in school activities, prepare reports and presentations in the classroom, tell stories in the company of friends. This will help you get used to the audience’s attention, relieve tension, and fear of failure. Thanks to this, at a crucial moment, you can successfully pass the exam, defend the course, present a report or presentation.

Fear of public speaking infographic

Fear of Public Speaking

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