Everyone feels nervous before and during an oral presentation. It is normal; being faced with a crowd and taking responsibility can increase anxiety and stress levels. Few speakers naturally remain calm before an important meeting or speech. However, it is critical to be able to manage this stress; otherwise, you will fail to communicate with your audience, and you will likely not achieve the desired goal. All speakers have their own approaches and coping strategies that help them to concentrate. Nevertheless, if you are not sure that your method will work, here is a list of effective strategies that may help you to reduce your nervousness and achieve success.
Effective Strategies of How to Deal with Nervousness
- Improve your knowledge about the content. Learning additional information and facts that you can offer to the audience will help you to feel more confident as you will have the ability to support your claims with an interesting example or a curious fact.
- Get enough rest. Tiredness can lead to a decreased attention span as well as becoming noticeable to an audience. Therefore, it is important to devote time to activities that help you to refresh and relax. Examples include reading, jogging, walking, or spending time with friends. Do not fixate on your future speech as this will make you even more nervous.
- Prepare a plan for your presentation. Even famous speakers use notes to preserve the logic of their arguments and maintain a particular structure. That is why you should create a plan that will help you to present all the facts you deem important and avoid mistakes in your speech. It will also help in remembering important elements that should be discussed.
- Practice and do not leave everything for the last day. Practice makes perfect. Giving an oral presentation is no exception. You should repeat your speech many times to ensure that you are ready to present it to an audience. Procrastination will only make you more nervous and less confident.
Helpful Tips to Calm Your Nerves before Speaking
These recommendations will help you to deal with stress before an oral presentation. In addition, here are some tips on how to remain calm while presenting to an audience:
- Respect and communicate with the audience. People who feel engaged in the process will show more interest and are more likely to participate in the presentation. For this reason, consider asking questions when giving your speech.
- Breathe and slow down. Stress can make you short of breath. Take deep breaths and try to speak slowly as a rapid rate of speech is difficult to follow and reveals nervousness.
- Mind your audience’s mood. If you see that people are losing interest in the discussed topic, provide an additional fact that will spark their attention.
- Use your plan. The plan will help you to remember all the crucial facts as you present your information to the audience.
Of course, these recommendations are not universal. Some will work better for you than others. However, using at least some of these strategies will help you reduce your stress levels. Remember, your preparedness and confidence, built on your effort, will help you deliver an outstanding speech that will be interesting for all your listeners.