Delivering your presentation

Nervous about Public Speaking? You’re Not Alone

It was reported this weekend that Adele is nervous about her ‘comeback’ (having taken time off to have her baby) at the upcoming Oscars. Most of us are confident that the singer will be more than capable of delivering an fantastic performance – and she herself probably doesn’t truly doubt her abilities. Nerves and stage fright are indiscriminate. They emerge whether or not we have a legitimate reason to be concerned about our performance.

Nerves Can be Good

The adrenaline and focus which nerves and pressure can arouse in you can be helpful for delivering great presentations. Everybody feels a little intimidated about having all eyes on them, no matter how used they might be to the limelight – it’s natural, and even helpful.

Don’t try to eradicate the nerves you feel. Instead, harness them to improve your performance. Here’s how:

1. Make sure you know your content front to back. So even if you’re nervous, you can be sure of your ability to get the job done.

2. Visualise the presentation you’re going to give (practice in the area you’ll be giving it if you can). This will help you to feel comfortable.

3. Just because you feel nervous, doesn’t mean you should show it. Study your speech and body language and get rid of any nervous habits.

4. Fake it. Act confidently, and not only will your audience have no idea that you were nervous, you’ll soon relax and begin to really feel confident.

Hannah Jones
Hannah has spent the last few months getting to know PowerPoint and Prezi, and sharpening her design skills. Hannah shares presentation design and delivery advice as she learns it, and can often be found sharing the articles which have helped her on Twitter @impacttips.
Hannah Jones
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