How To Calm Your Nerves Before a Big Presentation
August 6, 2018
Imagine you are seconds away from giving the biggest presentation of your life. How do you feel?
Most likely, nervous. Of course, preparation helps – but still, it’s completely natural to be nervous before something like that.
First off, recognize and accept that. Even people who have been performing for years like politicians or musicians get nervous before going on stage.
It’s natural. Just knowing that will make you less nervous.
But, there are also a few simple yet effective techniques you can use to calm yourself down before a big presentation. In her LinkedIn Learning course Public Speaking Foundations, Instructor Laura Bergells detailed two.
2 Simple Yet Effective Techniques for Calming Yourself Down Before a Presentation
Bergells recommended these two techniques for calming your nerves before a presentation:
1. Talk to a few people in the audience ahead of time.
This is a small thing that makes a big difference.
Before you give a big presentation, mingle with some people in attendance. Share a few stories.
“When you do, you'll start to forge a bond with them,” Bergells said. “When you start to see your audience as individuals instead of a large crowd, you'll feel less intimidated and more relaxed.”
2. Do this body language trick.
When we are nervous, we tend to have terrible body language. To avoid that, literally force yourself into a “power pose” that’ll actually trick your body into giving you more confidence.
You’ve probably heard that striking a “Wonder Woman” pose can make you feel more confident. For presentations, Bergells recommends putting your hands behind you and your head up. Of course, you don’t want to stay in that position for long, but just doing it for a few seconds can serve as a course correction.
“This pose not only signals more confidence, but it also lets you take in more oxygen for better control over your speaking,” Bergells said.
Try those two techniques before the next presentation you give. They don't seem like much, but they'll do a lot for calming your nerves.
Want to learn how to deliver a truly memorable presentation? Watch Bergells’ full course, Public Speaking Foundations.
Topics within the LinkedIn Learning course include:
- How to outline your speech
- Five strong openers for your presentation
- Presentation body language
- The best way to close a presentation
- How to get feedback about your presentation