Four Public Speaking Tips to Reduce Nervousness
Whether you give presentations once a month or once a year, you likely experience some nervousness during your presentation. Regardless of the exact symptoms you feel—shaky knees, sweaty palms, dry mouth, butterflies in your stomach, or just a general sense of apprehension—rest assured that these public speaking tips to reduce nervousness will help you present with confidence and ease.
Here are four ways to keep yourself calm while presenting:
1. Focus on the audience, not yourself. Focusing your energy on what the audience needs from you and what’s important to them will help take your mind off all those nervous symptoms you’re experiencing. A great way to focus on your audience is to refer to people by name and include them in your explanation. This will take the attention off you and put it on someone in the audience.
2. Pause for power. Pausing during your presentation is a great way to regain your composure so you can relax and stay on track. It helps you think clearly and gives you a chance to breathe. When you take a deep breath, you will feel calmer. The best time to pause and breathe is when you look back at the screen or when you are advancing the slide. As an added bonus, the audience perceives a pause as contemplative, thoughtful, and knowledgeable, so pause often!
3. Be yourself. You’re the expert, and the audience is there to learn from you. They need your information, not anyone else’s. So instead of focusing on statistics and research, make sure to add your opinions, ideas, and experiences. Speak from your heart as it relates to the information you’re sharing. The more genuine you are, the more relaxed you’ll feel in front of a group.
4. Remember that the audience cannot see how nervous you feel. The audience cannot see your heart pounding, your stomach churning, or your hands perspiring—no matter how apparent you think your jitters are. Realize that the audience wants you to do well. They want you to motivate them, to educate them, and to inspire them. So keep that in mind throughout your presentation, and any nervous feelings you are experiencing will eventually disappear.
These four techniques will help you stay calm during a presentation. However, the best way to reduce your nervousness is to be prepared prior to presenting!