Either you are a business or academic presenter, presentation is always crucial. Sometimes, a good presentation can help you to capture big projects i.e. earning as well as sometimes good research presentations can create a good impression on the capacity of the person. And these expectations often create extra pressure on our body and mind, which leads to stress before and during a presentation.
Crashing the stress of presentation is not easy. It is as tough as breaking the steel bar by bare hand. But believe me, following the next steps can help you to reduce the stresses of presentation.
- Study your audience
You should know who will keep an eye on your presentation. Moreover, you should know how much this presentation worth to you and your audience. Try to know the skills your audience has on the presentation topic. If they are very skilled, like a professor, try to know their strengths and weakness. This will help you to sort what you should say and what not. If they are not so skilled, try to deliver in such a way that satisfies the mind.
When you will get a brief idea about your audience, it will relieve you from the stresses of not knowing your audience. Presenters often feel stress to talk in front of a large gathering. A short but effective research on audience type, audience headcount can help to know your surroundings and will keep you mentally fit for the presentation day.
- List of Probable Questions
Make a list!! Yes, we often think in our minds and forget about the next moment. So, it is better to make a list of questions you may face. This will help you to know in the depth of that topic and will help you manage the stress during the question-answering session. You can collect such questions from many sources. You can find a related forum or you can also use Quora.
Having a list of questions will boost your confidence and will help you to be mentally strong to face the questions.
- Start in an Unconventional Way
Everyone says, Good morning/evening/afternoon or I am happy to be here, etc. Why start in a way that everyone knows? If it’s a friendly environment, there is no reason to make the environment gloomy. For example, you can start like this- I am not feeling good coming here because I am a bit nervous. This will make your audience laugh and will ease the environment. This easy environment will relieve you from extra stress. But do not try this method on very academic or very formal presentation.
- Proper Planning
Without planning no one can cross the hurdles. As you feel stresses during the presentation, you should have a mindblowing plan. You should know about what topic and what details are you going to focus on in front of your audience so that you can grab their mind. These details can be known only through proper planning.
There are various ways you can plan your presentation. For example, taking short notes, writing some descriptions in PowerPoint speaker view, or using any mind mapping software.
If you have proper planning, you will be sure that you are not missing any key info and as a result, you will feel nervous during the presentation.
- Take Short Breaks but Deep breaths
In my case, I always feel that I try to speak as much as I can during the presentation. But this is not the proper way. We need Oxygen at every moment. If we speak very fast our body does not get enough Oxygen and feels the stress. So, to be stress-free you can short breaks and breaths during your presentation. For example, you can fix that after speaking for 1 minute you will take a 2 to 3-second break. Deep breaths take out the stresses we accumulate in our brain and blood during stress time and thus reduces the possibility of becoming faint.
- Practice in front of Friend/Colleague
Practice makes a man perfect. The practice may boost your confidence as well as may help you to identify the flaws you have. So, you can present in front of your friend or colleague before the presentation. This will certainly relieve some stress as your body, mind already faced that situation.
When your body been attacked by some Virus or Bacteria, your body prepares the necessary Antigen to block Virus or Bacteria, so that they become ineffective.
Practicing presentations in front of friends or colleagues is something similar to the above case. In this case, you are giving your mind a hint of what you are going to face. As your mind are prepared for presentation situation, most likely your nervousness, as well as mental stresses, will be reduced.
- Keep a pen in Hand
Did you notice, during the presentation, we often feel awkward with our hands? Yes, it is a common problem and this happens as we do not know what we should with our hands. Some try to express feelings using hands or by doing some hand activities during the presentation which they do not know.
A probable solution to this problem could be keeping a pen in hand. Yes, keeping a pen can help you to keep busy your hands as well as can help you to express your feeling. Moreover, you can also take some notes, if you wish and if you need, if you have a pen in hand.
- Self Video Analyzing
Before the presentation day, make a dummy presentation in front of a video camera. You can shoot the video using your phone camera or you can ask someone to shoot the video for you.
Analyze the video in detail to find your problems during the presentation. As you will know where you can do the errors and as you are prepared to face those errors, your nervousness will disappear for sure.
Making a presentation is not an easy task for a person who did not make it several times. Preparing yourself for the worst-case and being mentally strong could be one of the keys to managing the stress caused during public speaking like doing presentations.