How to Not Be Scared of Presenting in Front of People
Presenting in front of people is an acquired skill. Most people feel afraid of standing up and talking to a group of strangers. We are scared of being judged on our appearance, quality and delivery of presentation -- or even on our voices and accents. Presenting is a skill that can be learned by anyone. It takes practice and courage to get over the first few hurdles; but it can become very enjoyable.
Make sure you know your subject matter. Research your topic of discussion thoroughly. This gives you the confidence to present accurate information, even if you are nervous when you start talking. Audiences respond positively to confidence, which will help you relax into your role of presenting.
Don't forget to breathe when you speak. This helps you relax, and it also helps you slow down the pace, if you are talking too fast. Remember that normal conversations have natural pauses -- and if you stop to take a few breaths -- your presenting style will come naturally to you.
Keep your presentation simple and easy to understand. Focus on a few main points instead of trying to get all your ideas across. This makes it easier for you to remember all your key points and communicate them effectively.
Be genuine and respectful when speaking. If you don't know the answer to a question, don't try and make one up. It is equally important to stand your ground if someone is intentionally being disruptive. This creates a feeling of mutual respect in the room and helps build-up your confidence.
Don't feel intimidated by your audience, however important or large the group is. If there are any friends or colleagues in the room, focusing on them will help you relax and boost your confidence.
Take a few quiet minutes for yourself before you go and present. Walk around the block or even just close your eyes, if you don't have the opportunity to go out. Focus on something pleasant and happy to help settle your nerves and relieve your stress.
It is okay to make mistakes. Try and accept them and carry on.
Take pride in what you are presenting. If you undermine your own abilities, you can't expect other people to believe in them either.
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