We’ve all been there: scrambling around, nervous and frantic, before the big presentation to your boss or coworkers. The butterflies in your stomach, the shaking hands, and the feeling of having forgotten something are usually common accompaniments to any important presentation, but there are a few things that you can easily (and more importantly, quickly!) do right before to eliminate some of the nerves and stress.
Read on below to find out what some of the top-notch tips are for what you can do in the 10 minutes before a presentation in order to present like a pro, no matter how high-stakes or scary it may be.
Psychological and scientific research has shown that you can harness the power of positive thinking and apply it to almost anything you do for better results, and this definitely applies to big presentations. Sit down and think some happy, positive thoughts: believe in yourself and think confident! You’ll be way happier before, during, and after your presentation, and it will nudge the direction your presentation goes into a positive one.
Take a few (or several) deep, slow breaths.
This type of breathing is relaxing, has benefits for your health, and will calm you down and ease you into a relaxed, graceful, confident person who can deliver any presentation with ease and poise. This works by inhibiting the brain’s natural ‘Fight or Flight’ response and allowing you to be rational and calm, leaving you more prepared-feeling and overall, ready to command attention.
Drink water and use the restroom.
Starting with the latter, know that taking care of you is important. Avoid the chances of you being miserable in the middle of your presentation because you need to go to the bathroom, by going beforehand. Even though that tip sounds obvious, in the common pre-presentation panic, it’s easy to overlook. Drinking water will clear your throat and make speaking easier. There’s nothing worse than having to cough or clear your throat multiple times while presenting, and sipping water will help you to have a clear voice the whole time.
Practice (specifically, your pauses!)
It’s easy when flustered and under pressure, to speed up your speaking and skip breaths that are especially needed. Be careful not to stress yourself out by ‘cramming’, or practicing too much. Running through your breathing, pauses, and key points a few times is the best way to prepare.
Turn your nervousness into enthusiasm and confidence.
Listening to happy, energetic music and doing some light exercise (like stretching) can easily transform your presentation jitters into confident energy. The audience will love your calm, but energized and happy presentation.
Although this sounds cheesy, smiling has loads of benefits to presentations. Internally, it’s been proven in countless psychological studies that smiling actually makes you feel happier. Externally, smiling exudes confidence and kindness, and audiences will be able to relate to you and enjoy your speech more if they feel that you are kind and calm.
Understand your surroundings.
Know the presentation location: being comfortable with the stage, the microphone, the exits, the audience seating, and any projectors and screens will make you feel calm and ready. Also, if you feel comfortable, your audience will sense that and be more comfortable and open to what you have to say.
Get there early.
If you’re not at the location early, you may feel rushed, and being worried about being late is not an additional stress that you need. Getting there early will give you time to de-stress and feel relaxed and prepared, as well as to do the things on the list above.
Know that you are prepared.
You’ve researched, you’ve put together the material and crafted a presentation that’s picture perfect. Believe in the power and talent of you! Sometimes, stepping back and saying, “I got this!” is the stepping stone to achieving greatness.
Be okay with the fear you have.
It’s perfectly normal; in fact, it beats out death in lists of fears for people nowadays. Instead of fighting the fear and thinking to yourself, “They’re all going to know I’m nervous! I’m going to terrible because I’m scared”, accept the nerves. Think to yourself, “It’s okay to be nervous, and I can still be amazing. I can do this, and I am going to be great. Even if they know I’m nervous, they want me to succeed!”
Just doing these simple things will vastly improve your chances of pulling off a successful presentation. If you need more inspiration check out these 6 ways to master your presentation or click to see these reasons why people who read more are more successful.
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