The two scariest words for college students? Public speaking. The anticipation of giving a big presentation can keep you up at night with nervous energy and leave you jittering in class as you anxiously wait for your turn at the podium. It’s stressful! That’s why we came up with some helpful tips you can use to combat your nerves before you present.
If you’re not entirely confident in the material you’re presenting, you’ll have a lot more to be nervous about. Presenting is more than just memorizing your speech. You should know enough about the presentation topic to keep going if you forget your speech, and enough to confidently answer any audience questions thrown at you during your presentation.
Once you understand the topic like the back of your hand, make sure to practice your speech! It’s totally normal to stumble and make mistakes sometimes, but practicing can help you feel confident about keeping these mishaps to a minimum.
No matter how prepared you are, it’s normal to still feel the jitters right before you present. Try a deep breathing exercise when you feel these nerves coming on. This will help relax your muscles and lower your heart rate.
Watching others present shows you that it’s really not that bad! Did you really notice every time the presenter had to look back at their notes? Did you totally judge them every time they slipped on a word? Chances are, you didn’t! Take this as a reminder that no one will be judging your mistakes, either.
No, you shouldn’t stand in the back of your classroom doing jumping jacks while you wait for your turn to present. However, a good workout before class can lessen any nervous energy you have. Exercise is scientifically proven to be a great stress buster!
A good laugh is the best distraction! Whether you look up some funny YouTube videos or browse through the latest memes, some lighthearted laughter is good for you when you’re nervous.
What helps you fight nerves before you present? Share your tips in the comments below!