The fear of public speaking is often ranked higher than the fear of death. There is even a term for the fear of speaking, known as Glossophobia. Anyone who has ever had to get up and talk in front of a group has experienced some type of fear. When you are due to give a presentation at work, this fear can be even more overwhelming, as your presentation will usually be in front of colleagues, bosses, clients, and prospective clients.
However, there are a number of strategies that can help eliminate presentation anxiety. Let’s look at eight of them right now.
1.Accept that being nervous is a normal thing to be.
Remember, everyone gets nervous, even the big bosses. Don’t think that you should be able to quell your fear completely. It’s going to happen no matter how hard you try to not let it bother you.
2.Practice, practice, practice
The more you practice and know your subject, the better you will be. You should also practice out loud as often as possible. If you can, practice what you will be saying in front of a friend or co-worker who can help you with feedback.
3.Go in knowing your topic
Whatever the topic of your work presentation, know it inside and out. You will want to look like an authority on the subject and be able to answer any questions you may get, especially when they come from your superiors.
4.However, don’t expect to be perfect
You won’t know absolutely everything there is to know. Just be yourself when it comes to getting up and talking to your audience. If you think you will be faced with a question you can’t answer and that is making you nervous, be prepared to deflect it with another question or comment.
5.Keep your success in mind
Before you have to give your presentation, close your eyes and think about how you will be delivering it. Think about how you will look enthusiastic and confident in front of your work peers. Keep any negative thoughts at bay when you picture the act itself.
6.Breathe and make eye contact
It’s important to breathe steadily before you even start the presentation. Remember to breathe deeply from your lungs to prevent hyperventilating. It will calm your mind and relax your body, which in turn allows you to talk clearly and concisely.
7.Keep up the eye contact to remain in the moment and relaxed
You should always maintain eye contact with the people you are speaking to. This doesn’t mean you should pick just one face and stare at them the whole time, however. Pick out various friendly faces in your audience, hold their gaze for a few seconds as you talk, and then shift your gaze to someone new. Practice this in an empty room before you even begin your presentation to help cut down on your nervousness.
8.Avoid caffeine before the big presentation
Caffeinated drinks can make your heart race and your nerves jittery. This will make you more nervous that you already are. Wait until the presentation is over to down that energy drink.
Keeping these eight hints in mind is sure to keep your nervousness to a minimum during your work presentation. Just remember that it is completely normal to be nervous and that you will do better than you think you will.