4 Simple Ways to Conquer Your Presentation Nerves

Posted on July 19, 2012 in Public Speaking by Toke Kruse | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , ,

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Public Speaking is widely considered as one of the most fearful and nerve-wracking things a person can do. Although some people may be naturally better public speakers, there are many things you can do to become a better public speaker yourself – anything can be learnt. Also public speaking is a very valuable skill to improve. Below are 4 things you can do to release your nerves.


1. Go out and relax
The more you think about how the result of your presentation will turn out to be, the more nervous you will get. If you find yourself focusing on that instead of preparing the presentation then take a break. Go out and give your brain a little bit of relaxation. Each person has their own way to deal with their own relaxation. Some people take a stroll in the park, idle away in a quiet place, hang out with friends, or even go fishing. You have to choose what is best for you. Make a list of at least 3 activities which you can do to relax yourself. The point is to get your mind away from all the things related to your presentation.

2. An imagination Game
After you feel more refreshed, it’s time to play an imagination game. You are the player and your mind is the game. You have to outplay the negative thoughts that you mind has. Before a presentation, a presenter tends to think negative things about how their presentation will turn out to be. Negative thoughts will make you afraid, anxious, and more nervous. In this game, all you have to do is to imagine that your presentation is over and that it was a huge success. You have to create enough positive thoughts about the outcome of the presentation that your mind eventually gives in to your new way of thinking. Really try and think it down to the details of the looks on the faces of your audience, to how loud the clapping is, to the specific comments that people give you and exactly what you will do to celebrate the success.
Is this a joke, you ask? – No.
If not, then does it really work? – This is psychological training which has been proven to conquer your nerves. Thinking of these positive thoughts will create positive energy inside of you which will make you confident and calm.

3. Record your rehearsal
Practice a presentation in your room and videotape it. You will most probably notice some demeanour or gestures which you never expected to see. This is admittedly a time-consuming process but has been proven to be worth the time by many PowerPoint MVP’s. You can check whether your voice is loud and clear enough and whether you are pronouncing all the words well. By knowing your mistakes or flaws you will learn to make changes and that is an important key to conquering your nerves. Know yourself!

4. Be more passionate
Roxanne Emmerich, an expert in public speaking states: “When you are so committed to the meaning of your message, you can’t contain yourself and there is no energy left for being nervous.” When you are fired up and passionate about your subject, your nerves will eventually be wiped away by that passion of yours. Focus on what you find interesting/fascinating/important about your presentation, really feel these things and then these same feelings will become contagious for your audience.

In conclusion, take breaks to relax to get your mind off of public speaking, convince yourself you are a great presenter through your imagination, record your rehearsal and focus on what is most interesting for you in the speech. The image on the left comes from one of PowerPoint Templates and is ideal for presenting about public speaking.

What is your view?

  • Do you have any more tips or resources for becoming a better public speaker?
  • What are some of the most embarrassing things that have happened to you or someone else when speaking publicly?