Presentation Tips

How to Not Get Nervous During a Presentation?

Nervous during a presentation

Whether it’s a hall full of audience or just a few colleagues in the offices’ conference room, giving a presentation makes you nervous. This is a normal process which happens to everybody addressing any number of listeners, if not, than either you are over confident or not care at all about what your audience thinks of you. If being on stage makes your head sweat, legs shake & eyes wander than you might have of what we call as stage paralysis, you feel stoned and not even your figure tend to move. This is a serious issue and everyone with this fear should follow some strategies to overcome this dread.

It’s not that after reading and following these tactics you will forget what nervousness is, but to know how to take control of it and move ahead with your speech. Being nervous on stage is a normal process and happens even with the experts; the difference is that the experts never let anyone know of their nervousness. Experts say that for pro speakers even a little bit of nervousness serves as the stimuli to use that fear as energy to communicate, convince and speak passionately. This is how fear can be overcome by converting it into positive energy. To conquer your nerves is the only solution to reduce your stage fear and get one step ahead in becoming a pro presenter.

Let’s take you out of your Nervous misery, follow some of these tactics & make it work –

  • Prepare Better than Ever

Whether you are trying a topic other than your expertise or one of your fine learning, practising your own content is very important, like a good sportsperson never shows up in the field without attending numerous practice sessions. There is not a single person in the world who is an absolute expert in every subject. Everybody is expert in their chosen subject but this can’t keep you from giving a speech on a subject out of your expert field. This is where the fear comes in and when we want to go out of our comfort zone we get nervous on stage. Only one factor can help in such situation, that being planning and preparation. Prepare well on the chosen subject, do complete detailing & prepare a presentation with a USP & some breathtakingly interesting facts. Have faith in what you say on stage.

  • Visualize & Practice

Both these go hand in hand as you need to practice your speech to an extent that if you are asked about your topic even in your sleep, you start answering. Visualizing not just means to see yourself on stage but to think of every situation possible that might come your way during your speech & bring sudden unexpected changes like, a question from the audience, technical fault or anything else. Visualize the best and the worst situations that can change the course of action you are following and practice for all possible situations, keep yourself ready & active.

  • Master the art of Self Consoling

It is fairly true that your nerves are going to give you a hard time while your presentation, believe me it’s going to happen but instead of hiding or ignoring it you should always face it. Just admit to your nervousness, get your strength together, act normal and tell yourself that you can do this. Going blank or pausing for a long while may happen to you but don’t worry as your audience needs a brief pause too. Think of it as a driving force that’s giving you more energy to speak better. Learn to self-console and quickly get back the rhythm and make a mark.

  • Keep a creative presentation as your strength & back up

This may seem nothing but it’s a great help to have a creative and interactive presentation as your back up for the nervous moment to pass. Whenever you feel that your audience is not pleased or taking any interest in whatever you are saying just show them some video that you have with you as a back-up saying “May be this is boring, let’s move to something interesting” and take your audience with you, show them some pictures, videos and other fun stuff of course relevant to your subject. A creative presentation & interesting slides with loads of visual stuff can always save you from the dull moment on stage.

  • Experiment to show your fearlessness

This tip can prove a life saver as experimenting always help with audience. Experiment with the listener’s behavior give their ears and eyes slight changes every now and then for instance keep moving on stage and around the crowd may be to ask questions or ask someone from audience to join you on stage to demonstrate a fun fact related (directly or indirectly) to your subject etc. There are many other ways to keep in touch with your audience while you are in charge of the mic and stage. Find out those bright moments, experiment and win your audiences’ heart.

2 Comments

  1. Those are very helpful tips. It’s also vital to deal with the physical manifestation of nerves. Areas to focus on are:
    Developing a natural and confident speaking style (through posture, breath management and the resonance of the voice)
    Engaging the listener vocally (using pitch, pause and inflection)
    Speaking with clarity (if people can’t hear you or understand what you are saying then they will stop listening)
    Matching your vocal tone to your message

    If you know what you want to say and HOW you are going to say it – you will have far more confidence.
    Marie

  2. While I agree with the sentiment of this article and I like much of the specific advice offered, I do want to challenge the premise: that being nervous is something that can be avoided and should be avoided. You can’t not be nervous; you either are or you are not, and given those choices, I would rather that you be nervous. Your nerves provide your energy and an important gauge that you are doing something that matters to you (which was pointed out in the article).

    The question is what do you do with all of that energy? How do you channel it? That is one of the many topics that we cover at the Presentation Summit, our annual conference for the industry.

    I applaud Ashish for tackling the topic in a thoughtful manner. It is a fascinating subject.

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