The time leading up to your presentation can be unnecessarily stressful. Perpetual worry and sleepless nights are all too familiar for many. If this sounds like you, you're not alone. 77% of people experience some form of anxiety around presenting.
So what can you do in the days leading up to your presentation?
Here, we explore 5 tips to feeling more at ease before the day.
Prep, Prep, Prep
It's no surprise that preparation will help put your nerves to bed. In fact, 80% of success in presenting comes from proper preparation beforehand. But with a busy schedule, many will underestimate the benefits preparation has and leave it to the last minute. Leave yourself enough time and make sure to answer the "big" questions beforehand: What is the purpose of my presentation? What do I want my audience to think/feel/do off the back of it? Have I got a clear structure?
Realise that nerves aren't the problem
Excellent presenters and public speakers know that nerves aren't the problem at all. It's how you manage and approach those nerves. Do they fuel you or cripple you? Check out our blog for more about nerves and the realisations you need to make.
Keep your notes ready
Whatever your style when it comes to presenting notes (a few bullets on a page, sticky notes, or something more comprehensive) be sure to have them ready. If you have typed your notes on your computer, make sure you have them saved to your email and also printed, in case you experience technical difficulties on the day. Nothing spells stress more than losing your presenting notes.
Become familiar with the space
If presenting in person, try to visit the room/space you are presenting in beforehand. Get familiar with the area, where the audience will be sitting, where you will be placed and what (if any) technology you will be using. This will help put your mind at ease and also help you visualise the moment in the days leading up.
Finally, be sure to run your presentation 1-2 times in front of someone else. Ask them for honest feedback, in terms of your content, delivery and body-language. This will help you focus on where you need to improve and also settle your nerves knowing you have delivered it before. But don't over-practice. This will take away the authenticity of your presentation and may leave you sounding robotic.
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