3 Simple Tips to Calm Your Nerves Before a Big Presentation
Everyone gets a bit nervous before a presentation, even experienced professional presenters. In fact, a little bit of nerves is a good thing. Your adrenaline is pumping, which means you are sharper and more alert. That’s fine as long as you take control of it and not the other way around. The team here at Presentation Geeks have our own presentation tips and tricks on all kinds of presentation topics. In the blog, we’ll focus on you, as the presenter and how to calm your nerves before your next big presentation..
Three Simple Tips to Calm Your Nerves
Everyone is different and we all have a different way to calm our nerves before a presentation. We’re not going to talk here about individual calming techniques. If you find retreating to a Himalayan monastery or eating organic ethically knitted alpaca yogurt, good for you. They are individual choices.
Instead, here’s three tried and tested ways to calm anyone’s nerves before a presentation.
Tip 1: Prepare for the Audience
Fear of the unknown is a big fear. One of the biggest fears anyone has. So, if you are worried about your audience, that’s going to make you anxious and nervous.
Here’s our first presentation tip: The answer is to find out whatever you can about your audience in advance. Who exactly are they? Where are they from? What do they like? A great tip, once you have done that, is to prepare an icebreaker joke or two, or a story that your audience will relate to. If you are presenting to a local audience, tell a short local story or joke (in good taste of course). If you are presenting to a foreign audience, learn a few words of the language. If your audience is a specialist group, focus on their specialty. Laughter releases chemicals that will relax you and the audience. If the joke falls flat, don’t worry – because you can make a joke about that too. The joke or story can be a visual one in your presentation which Presentation Geeks can help you with.
Once you get an audience on your side, you will relax and your presentation will flow more easily.
Tip 2: Prepare for the Q+A
Fear of difficult questions is another big fear. Almost no one likes “curveball” questions at the end of a presentation and it’s even worse if that happens while you are still presenting.
Here’s another presentation tip. Make a few Q+A slides for after the main presentation. That has many benefits. First, it will make you rehearse your answers before the presentation, which gives you confidence. Second, you can close down questions during the presentation (if you want to) by saying you will handle those at the end. That keeps your confidence up during the presentation. Third, it will impress your audience that you really have thought about and know the subject.
One of the next biggest fears anyone has is being caught ‘cold’. So, if you are worried about questions, that’s also going to make you anxious. Presentation Geeks can help you put those together, in an elegant way and help you win that audience over.
Tip 3: Prepare your environment and you before the presentation
You want your presentation to be done calmly and with confidence. Presentation Geeks hear of so many good presentations that go wrong, through really simple mistakes, that is easily fixed.
Heres our final presentation tip. Make sure you rehearse.
First, do the basics on yourself before the presentation and make sure there’s nothing odd about your appearance, like a wonky tie, messy hair, food on your clothes etc. Otherwise, your audience will be looking at you as well as the presentation.
Secondly, make sure the sound and the lighting in the room are good by having a rehearsal well before your audience arrives. That’s basic, but not everyone does it. Check the lighting, sound, seating, temperature etc. Then if there are any snags, you have time to fix them. That will take away another source of anxiety.
Thirdly check your presentation carefully, with someone else looking at it too if possible. Is this the right version? Is your text big enough to read in the room from the seats at the back (that’s easy to check if you have a friend or colleague help out? Is it the right length? If it’s too long, move less important slides to the Q+A session and you can use them if you need them.
Presentation Geeks can help you do all this and you will feel more confident and communicate that confidence to your audience.
But Wait, There’s More
There’s one final presentation tip to keep you calm. Get expert help in advance. A lot of people think that because they have Powerpoint on their PC or Tablet they have to do everything themselves. Chances are though, you are not a professional graphics artist. Or, you are not a professional scriptwriter. And how much professional public speaking do you do?. Most people doing presentations have a day job they are experts in or are specialists with expert domain knowledge, or simply just have a story to tell or a message to get across.
Do you know about the Golden Section? How are you on Kerning? Do you have in-depth knowledge of complementary colors? Do you rarely get past Arial when choosing a font? You wouldn’t build a house without help from an Architect, or do your own dentistry - would you? There’s a reason graphic artists and designers go to college and spend time and money getting trained.
So just because you have Powerpoint, doesn’t mean you are obliged to do the whole thing yourself. That’s an easy way to get stressed and anxious. Hiring the Presentation Geeks gives you more time to focus on your original content and your personal delivery.
You will be way more confident with a beautifully designed presentation and your audience will be more impressed. So, why get stressed for no reason? You come up with the idea and then we will make it happen.