You know the feeling all too well. You’ve spent hours putting together elements of your presentation. In addition, you’ve rehearsed for weeks. Then, when you finally feel ready to do it, you freeze in front of your audience!
What you’re suffering from is a lack of self-confidence. Behind closed doors, you gather the nerves to face the crowd. But the minute you see eyes staring at you, your confidence shatters.
You’re in the position that many others end up in. But luckily, you can also be in the position of those who overcome the challenges.
There are key tricks you can use to ensure your presentations run smoothly.
Whether your crowd is ten or 10,000, the results are always the same.
Implement these strategies when giving presentations:
1. Find a friendly face. One of the foolproof ways to combat stage fright is to focus on a friendly face. Comb the audience before your presentation starts. Is there someone who looks encouraging or pleasant? Once you find that face, focus on it from beginning to end.
- The person you identify is probably going to notice you staring at them. However, they’ll probably also realize that you’re doing that to calm your nerves.
- Smile now and then so the person you pinpoint can recognize that you could use their support.
2. Think of a funny scenario. Right before you start, think of something funny that has happened in the past. You’ll likely start laughing inside.
- Laughter automatically helps to calm your nerves. It’s the perfect way to relieve stress. This, in turn, helps you relax when it’s time to present.
- When you laugh to yourself, it automatically comes across in your demeanor. A lighter, more pleasant manner helps to warm up the crowd. Once you sense their receptiveness, you’ll feel more at ease.
- If it’s appropriate, use a bit of your humorous story to break the ice at the beginning. This is another technique to warm up the crowd.
3. Break it down into sections. Your entire presentation might be 30 minutes long. But it’s helpful if you break it down into four main sections.
- Focusing on the major points helps you keep things in check. If you can define the key elements, you’ll be better able to fill in the blanks with the details.
- What point do you want to drive home to the audience? Determine that point, then ensure you work your way up to it.
4. Keep a picture of a loved one nearby. Knowing you have someone who supports you nearby can make a huge difference. Even though it’s only a photograph, looking at it periodically can help encourage you.
- Make it a memorable photo. How about your son’s first picture after losing his front teeth? Possibly, you could use a wedding photo.
- If the occasion allows, you can lightly draw reference to your support base. As an ice breaker, point out to the audience that you have the “supportive” photo nearby.
Self-doubt should remain as far from your mind as possible. When you’ve prepared to the best of your ability, you should be able to knock it out of the park. Avoid allowing anything to get in the way of a successful presentation.
You know your stuff, so show it to yourself and the audience. You deserve to walk away feeling like the proudest person on Earth. And you’ll become more of a pro after each presentation!