While many people have fears about certain things in life, one of the biggest fears that’s shared by a huge number of people is speaking in front of others. But for many, there will likely come a time where you’re going to have to give some type of speech or presentation to a group, be it a small gathering of people or a large conference address. And whether you’re an old pro when it comes to speaking engagements or this is your first time doing anything like this, it’s totally natural to feel nervous. So to help you reign in these emotions, here are three tips for help you prepare for a big speech or presentation.
Make Sure You’re Prepared and Practiced
The first step in reducing your nerves about speaking in front of people is knowing that you’re as prepared as you can be for the event. The more confident you feel in what you’re going to say and how you’re going to say it, the less you’ll fear the nerves about actually giving your presentation. According to Alyssa Gregory, a contributor to The Balance Small Business, one of the best things you can do one you’re all prepared for your speech is to video record yourself actually giving the address. By doing this, you’ll be able to time your speech, give yourself a good amount of practice speaking the exact wording you’re planning to use, and see if there are any physical ways your nerve manifest that you can try to fight against, like touching your face or other nervous ticks.
Notice Physical Changes and Prepare To Respond Physically
In the hours and days leading up to your presentation, you might begin to feel physical effects from the thought of standing up in front of people and speaking to them. These symptoms can range from rapid heartbeat to sweaty palms and even shaking muscles. One thing you can do to combat these physical changes, according to Amy Jen Su, a contributor to the Harvard Business Review, is to tap into other physical responses that will essentially distract you from your nervous responses. For example, you might want to try some relaxing breathing techniques or holding onto something weighted to recenter yourself and ground your body as you’re giving your presentation.
Give Yourself A Pep Talk
One of the main reasons people get nervous about speaking in front of others is due to their fears about what could go wrong or become embarrassing for them. Since these fears are all within your own mind, Jacquelyn Smith, a contributor to Business Insider, recommends using the power of your mind for good rather than evil by giving yourself a little pep talk before you take the stage. By telling yourself how prepared you are or how good you’re going to do, you can help to boost your own confidence and actually perform better as well.
If you’re nervous for a big speech or presentation you’ll be giving soon, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you mentally and physically prepare for this event.