Fear of public speaking can sometimes be debilitating. People would get up on a stage and just freeze. Even those people who manage to get through it feel stressed and anxious every second of their presentation. Does it get easier? Not necessarily. Regardless of how many times they have been in the spotlight and how many successful presentations they made, some people still get nervous every time. If you believe this sentence describes you perfectly, keep reading to learn some tips on calming your nerves.
1. Practice out loud
Best business speakers all have one tip for you – practice as much as possible. To feel calm, you need to be confident, and you cannot be self-assured unless you are fully prepared for the presentation. It goes without saying that you need to know the ins and outs of your topic, facts, notes, etc., but that is not what we are talking about. The most common mistake speakers make is that they write the speech, learn it by heart, and rehearse it in their heads. Instead, you need to practice it out loud. This way, you will see if it works perfectly, and it will be easier to notice if there are some errors or if there is any way you can further improve the presentation.
2. Imagine the worst-case scenario
We know that imagining yourself making the worst mistake possible seems like the last thing you should do. However, you can always turn this bad scenario into something that works for you. Mistakes are bound to happen, and of course, you cannot predict all of them. But, if you give yourself some time to think, we are sure you will come up with the best solution for these and figure out how to continue your speech. Plus, this is another way to boost your confidence, and when you combine it with the previous tips, you will be prepared for anything.
3. Don’t forget to breathe
It may seem surprising, but people actually forget to breathe normally, which just adds more stress to their bodies and makes them more anxious. Before you step on the stage, you should find a quiet place to draw deep breaths and calm yourself. Also, this is the moment the adrenaline hits you, so you can try walking around your office or behind the stage to let go of some of the excess energy.
4. Connect with the audience
This is one of those things that may be easier said than done, but there is something you can do about it. If you are about to make a business presentation for a small group of people, you should take some time beforehand, meet them, and talk with them. This way, not only will you connect with them, but you will also make a great first impression on your colleagues and future business partners. Obviously, meeting everyone is not an option is you have to speak before an entire auditorium. In this case, you should take a different approach. Instead of stressing about the number of people waiting for you, think about them as your peers. You are an expert on the subject, which is why you are making the presentation in the first place, and they are there to learn from you.