How to Overcome the Nerves of Public Speaking/Presentations
Presentations are actually a form of communication that many of us have problems with. These problems can be improve by identifying what are the barrier to communication as well as understand the basics of what communication truly is. Despite the pressure that follow with public speaking, presentations also bring many benefits to the presenter which is us. I personally am a shy person, doing a presentation is something that I dislike doing but I had to because of the marks which is necessary for my courses. Here I'm going to show some of the tips that I learn based on my experiences.
Write your own speech on a piece of paper and practice in front of a mirror. This way you could see how you would look like and your body language in front of others when you are actually presenting. You could also record yourself reading your written speech to identify error that you will say in the actual presentation day.
Before your presentation, first you have to make sure that you are prepared. Not only yourself but also your presentation slides or the things that you would like to present. By being prepare, you would get less nervous of not being able to answer questions.
Make a conscious effort to calm yourself
What I did was to eat a candy or gum before my actual presentation. This way I can focus on the candy inside my mouth instead of my beating heart. Another way is to listen to music or talk to your fellow friends to gain their support which is in a way, really effective to some of my fellow friends.
Arrive at least 30 minutes before your presentation and if possible arrive in the venue before everyone else. By doing this, you have to get more time to prepare yourself and also not to get you nervous from being late. With the extra time, you could also reread your speech or make a last minute changes with your presentation slide.
Have water to drink
As you are giving your speech, there are times when you gets really nervous and become thirsty. When you become thirsty, this will hinder your speech and may risk your overall performances. Having a water bottle nearby is a great way to avoid this situation.
When someone is criticizing you, do not be disheartened. A criticism does not always have to be a bad thing. This is because getting criticize can actually help to point out your mistake and at the same time improve yourself for the better. So remember, do not be overly sensitive when being criticize.
Take your time
When you need a break, breathe and try to relax. You can pause in between your speech to avoid getting too nervous and getting tongue-tied. Although pausing in between speech is okay, make sure not to pause for too long as this can results to a different results.
Don't forget to make eye contact
I know that this can be nerve-wrecking having to speak in public and make eye contact with people at the same time is hard. I know, I've been there. But, this is a great way to communicate and make your audience engage with what you are presenting.
Tip: If you find it hard to make eye contact, look in between the eye area and up their nose bridge. This may seems like you are actually looking into their eyes when you are not.
Check yourself out
Remember to check yourself in front of a mirror, just in case you got something stuck between your teeth or your hair are messy. Also, make sure you look neat, clean, smart and most importantly presentable before the presentation.
Prepare for Q&A session
At the end of the presentation, usually there will be a Q&A session where your audience get the chance to ask questions. Which is why, you always need to think of all the possible question that are going to be ask and come up with an answer so you would not get stuck while trying to answer their question.
This is all of my tips on how to overcome the nerves of presentation/public speaking. Hope you find this tips helpful and good luck in your speech or presentation. You can do it! Lastly, have a great day!