What to do to overcome last minute nerves before your presentation
You might have delivered more presentations than we’ve had hot dinners, but that doesn’t mean it will help to avoid anxiety. Here’s how not to let that kill off hopes of delivering something truly memorable:
- Eat wisely - eating a healthy breakfast boosts concentration. The best foods to eat are porridge oats, eggs and fresh fruit, but avoid too much sugar
- Turn fears into energy - plenty of presentation pros advocate getting fired up ahead of their big time to shine, and they do this at least in part by taking all that anxiety and releasing it through enthusiasm and zeal.
- Get there early - presentations can’t get off to any worse a start than when people arrive late, with or without a valid excuse. Allow plenty of time, adjust to the day’s surroundings and meet and greet colleagues and partners.
- Warm up with other presentations - if you are just one in a list of people scheduled to talk or present, then it will pay dividends to watch those before you. Not only is this good manners, it’s the only way to gauge how responsive the audience is, their mood and the overall atmosphere of the event.
- Hydrate and relieve - dry mouth is a common symptom of anxiety, and the impact on your ability to talk can be significant. Drink plenty of water before, and during, although don’t forget to go to the bathroom before getting started either.
- Positive visualisation and breathing - although it might be tempting, never head out in front of a crowd whilst there’s a negative internal monologue taking place. Tell yourself you can do it, picture yourself doing it, and don’t forget to breathe properly (when we are nervous there’s a tendency to tighten up.
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