Ah the dreaded presentation. Most of us have been there. Whether it’s been in school or at work, a lot of us know the feeling of anxiety that comes in the hours that precede a big presentation or speech. It seems as though no matter how many times we present, the hours leading up to it can be nerve-racking and uncomfortable.
But like many other instances in life, the key is preparation. So how does one get to the point where presenting becomes as easygoing as anything else?
1. Check your energy: Start off the day with some exercise. Remember a lot of the anxiety you may feel before a presentation is due to adrenaline and there’s nothing like exercise to give you the calming effect you need before your turn to present.
2. Tell a friend about it: Reciting your presentation in front of a friend can be a great way to ensure you can explain it to someone other than just yourself.
3. Practice deep breathing: Never underestimate the calming power of a deep breath. Close your eyes and practice slow, deep breaths. There’s a reason the yogis do it!
4. Eat your breakfast: The last thing you want to worry about when you’re in front of everyone is how much grumbling your stomach is doing. You want to avoid and upset stomach at all costs and the best thing to do so is to eat well-balanced meals the day of.
5. Stretch: According to research, stretching releases dopamine, the neurotransmitter responsible for the brain’s reward and pleasure centers. Nothing like a good yawn and stretch to ease the nerves!
6. Hang with your pet: Pets can significantly reduce the amount of stress in our daily lives. Plus they’ll be home and ready to cuddle no matter what the outcome of your presentation is.
7. Laugh: They say laughter is the best medicine and they aren’t wrong. Crack some jokes with friends or watch some funny videos. It’s almost guaranteed to lift some of the stress.
8. Get to know your subject: No, it doesn’t mean memorize sentences to recite. Really get to know the material you’re speaking about inside and out.
9. Bring out the Mozart: Or Beethoven, whatever you prefer. Research has shown that classical music is an excellent way to calm nerves and reduce anxiety before stressful events.
10. Remember it will soon be over: A lot of the stress that comes with big presentations and speeches stems from the inability to see past the next hour or so. Once you’ve prepared as much as possible, all you can do is try your very best and look forward to it being over!