Do you still get butterflies before giving a presentation? While it’s completely normal for newbies and veterans alike, anxiety over public speaking can still rattle the nerves enough to make salespeople dread presentations. The key to feeling confident when speaking in front of others is to leverage the adrenaline rather than lose it, according to an article by Jaquelyn Smith for Inc.
You can channel that anxiety into enthusiasm and energy and deliver a great presentation, and Smith shares 15 ways to prep before public speaking. Her tips, a few of which I’ve included below, are easy to implement and can provide much-needed calm for your mind and body:
- Talk positively to yourself. Positive self-talk can do so much good for your mental state. By making positive affirmations repeatedly to yourself, you are setting yourself up for success.
- Strike a power pose. While you may not want to go as dramatic as your favorite superhero, confident body language can inspire positive, confident feelings that in turn lead you to feel more powerful and able.
- Take several deep belly breaths. Abdominal breathing is a terrific way to calm nerves, as anxiety tends to tighten chest and throat muscles. Right before the meeting, take deep, deliberate breaths that will interrupt the adrenaline in your body.
- Focus on giving. Are you normally nervous when you give a birthday gift? Probably not, so reframe your thinking when it comes to presenting. You are giving attendees valuable information, a gift, you could say. Thinking this way takes the focus off of you and puts it on the audience.
- Keep basic audience truths in mind. Smith points out that in general, audiences believe you are the expert, want you to succeed, and have no idea what you are going to say. These three “truths” reveal that the audience is actually rooting for you and will likely have no idea if you make a mistake in your speech.
These tips, along with the others, can help prep you physically and mentally for those times public speaking has you on pins and needles. Setting aside a few moments pre-presentation to calm your nerves can make your presentations flow more smoothly–and more enjoyable for you!