September 11, 2013

How to Overcome Your Fear of Giving a Presentation

Your hands are sweaty, your heart is pounding and your stomach is feeling queasy. Many people live through these feelings before a big presentation in front of an audience. The closer the big day comes, the more anxious one gets. Even renowned speaker know what it feels like to have stage-fright or be uncertain before a big presentation.

Do not let yourself get carried away by negative feelings – anxiety never helps to give a calm presentation. We have gathered a few tips for you to help you be calm and self-assured on your big day:


1.       Be Prepared

If you are well prepared you will feel less insecure. Rehearse your presentation ahead of time. Plan ahead and present in front of a colleague or family members. You will get some valuable feedback and ideas on how to adjust your performance. Furthermore, you should reread the text or notes of your presentation a few times. This way you will feel better prepared and more secure when the big day comes.

  2.       Take a Deep Breath and Relax

If you get excited quickly it could make sense for you to learn some breathing techniques. If you notice that your pulse is rising and you are breathing too fast, try to focus on your breathing to calm down. Breathe through your nose and try to intently feel how the air is filling your lungs. You will feel more relaxed once you repeat this a few times.

 3.       Break the Ice

How you introduce yourself and your topic is quite important before you start your presentation. Greet your audience and thank them for their coming. You may even consider breaking the ice with some small talk on the weather or a little positive remark on the premises. Just try to be yourself and show a bit of your personality.

 4.       Everyone Likes You!

Imagine that everyone in the room really likes you. This may sound a bit exaggerated, but hey – they all came to listen to your presentation, didn’t they? So try to focus on why they came: your topic, your story, your ideas and the content of your presentation. Inspire them with your thoughts and make them enjoy the speech.

5.       Fear Is Invisible

Oftentimes we think that others can see every little sweat pearl glistening on our temples while presenting. The result: we are insecure, stiffly stand at one spot and convey anxiety with our entire body language. Here the relaxing news: wobbly legs or sweaty palms are almost never noticed by the audience. They are much more interested in the content of your speech. They want to know what you have to say! So just slowly ease into your presentation – you will notice that you forget all about your sweaty palms and wobbly legs once you are “in the flow” of presenting. You will automatically concentrate on your topic and your fear will dissolve in thin air.

Good luck!



featured image: © Amir Kaljikovic /

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