Oh boy, presentations have always been something I get really nervous about. I know that the biggest part of my class does too, so I thought I would tell you my biggest secrets in staying calm and being more concentrated during the presentation. Here come my 5 tips on how to stay calm for a presentation
1) Try the breathing technique 6 – 7 – 6
I have tried many breathing techniques, but find that this one helps me the most. I breathe in for 6 seconds, hold it in for another 7 seconds and then let it out slowly for 6 seconds. I repeat this as many times as I need it to be relaxed. The counting distracts me from thinking about all the bad things that could happen during the presentation (sounds similar to you? try this technique!) and additionally it helps me get my heart rate down. I find it so much easier to start the presentation and talk calmly, without forgetting all the good words I studied for hours and without rambling too much.
2) Distract yourself with your hands
I think, that sounds a little bit weird, but what I actually mean is – and this is going to be difficult to explain, but it helps so much:
get the thumb of your right hand and touch your pinky with it. Then continue touching the ring finger, then the middle finger and then the index finger with it. Afterward, just do it the other way around. With the other hand, you will do the exact same thing but alway the opposite direction of the other hand. I really hope that this is understandable! Do this for around 2 minutes and it will again distract you from thinking about the presentation too much.
3) Imagine how you look standing in front of the others
You can’t do number 1 and 2 standing in front of the class already. So what I want you to do now is, focus on your breathing for some seconds before starting to speak. Focus on your feet, then go up and think about your posture, think about your hands, think about your shoulders. Straighten your back, take a very deep breath, breath out and then start talking. You will now feel like you have everything under control. With this tip I try to imagine how I look from the outside, just to distract my mind for a second and focus on the appearance. With a good picture of yourself in mind, standing there with a posture, looking confident, you will more likely feel confident and speak better as well.
4) Drink a sip of water
The water will help your brain feel more energized and awake. It will also help your throat not feeling dry resulting in a better sound when you talk.
5) Focus on three people that you feel give you confidence
Often there are quite a lot of people sitting there and looking at no one else but you. That can be very intimidating. Therefore, try to pick out three people that will give you confidence while speaking. They might be people, that nod a lot while you are talking or just smile at you. Either way, you will feel like what you’re doing and saying is great. Pick out three people that are all sitting at another site of the room. That way you will alternate between them and will be more focused on what you are saying, hence you’re not looking at everyone. The teacher will still feel like you were attentive and looking around in the class a lot.
Those were my 5 tips on how to stay calm for a presentation
What are your favorite tips? I would love to hear them.