A Guide To Overcoming Presentation Anxiety For Students
Have you ever been so afraid to speak in front of people that you would rather be struck by lightning? Do you believe your severe stage fright makes it hard for you to relax before a class presentation? Would you prefer to skip the necessary presentation than harm your grade average or completely fail the module? Then you require these student presentation tips.
You will presumably be required to deliver a presentation as a student at some time, and unless you're one of the fortunate few endowed with the poise and confidence of a cat, you'll probably be at least a little anxious about this. To overcome your fear of public speaking and become a confident speaker, use the below-mentioned presenting strategies.
Reason: Why do you get nervous before a presentation?
Fear of speaking in public is the most common phobia, according to the National Social Anxiety Center. This phobia is more common than the fear of heights, death, or spiders. So, if you're feeling extremely worried before presenting a presentation, knowing you're not alone might be reassuring. The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that 73% of people are afraid of public speaking.
The dread of unfavorable evaluation or judgment from others is the key contributing reason to this phobia. Many people freeze or forget what they were about to say in front of a gathering of people. This causes an increase in stress, which has the potential to freeze the frontal lobe of the brain, which again is largely responsible for recognition memory.
Nervousness produced by making a presentation or public speaking is not only prevalent, but it is also psychologically and physiologically impacted.
How to deal with the nerves before, during, and after the presentation?
There's nothing bad with being anxious; the key is to control and conquer such impulses. Here are some pointers to help you manage your nerves before, during, and after a presentation.
Before the presentation
1. Know your topic inside out
How can you talk authoritatively if you're not a subject matter expert? A lack of preparation is frequently the source of a fear of public speaking.
If you don't want the pressure of giving a fantastic presentation to get to you, just know all there is to know concerning your subject or pitch. Knowing what you're talking about may raise your confidence and take some of the strain off of speaking in front of a group of people.
Confidence naturally radiates from a speaker who understands what they're talking about, making the audience more likely to listen. Furthermore, being prepared implies you're ready to kill the Q&A section of your presentation (if there is one).
2. Set reasonable expectations for yourself
When facing a major event like giving a speech or a presentation, it's natural to seek perfection from oneself. Setting realistic expectations, however, will help you avoid becoming frustrated if you do make a presentation-related mistake. Remember that everyone makes errors and that no one will judge you negatively if you don't give a flawless speech.
3. Write and Memorize a Killer Opening
The tone of your presentation is defined by your opening statement. Consider a compelling opening, such as a provocative inquiry, an inspiring saying, or an intriguing fact, then follow it up with a succinct, compelling overview of what will follow.
Make your introduction funny, original, and interesting since a strong presentation begins with a strong opening. Learn your introduction by heart so you can speak it without looking! This might help you get off to a strong, high start that will calm your worries.
If all goes well, your introduction will provide the audience with a positive first impression, establish your credibility, and allow them to settle into the lecture.
4. Practice, practice, practice
Increase your confidence and make sure you're prepared by practicing your presentation. Practice giving your speech; do it in front of a mirror, family, or friends. Take note of any criticism. Make sure you're on time, talk gently, and consider the kinds of questions your audience could ask. Up until you feel confident enough to deliver the presentation, keep practicing.
Visit the presentation location in advance if you can to familiarise yourself with the room layout and see what amenities are offered. By visualizing yourself making your presentation, you may lessen any anxiety you may be feeling on the big day and make everything flow more smoothly.
5. Harness the power of visualization
Being well-prepared can help you overcome your fear of public speaking, so practice making the presentation and use positive imagery to your advantage. It is much more probable that the presentation will go well if you can picture it going well.
Try to replicate the presenting environment as nearly as you can. Put on the clothes you'll be wearing that day, and either stand in front of a mirror or a camera (the latter is better because you seldom see your reflection while you talk). Speaking slowly is something you should regularly practice since people who are nervous about public speaking tend to talk more quickly.
During the presentation
6. Focus on your material, not the audience
Your audience isn't there to judge you; they are there to hear your presentation. They'll be watching your vivid slides while also paying attention to what you have to say. Put enjoyment of the presentation to one side and give it as you practiced.
While giving your presentation, get up and move around a little to let some of your anxiety out. However, avoid pacing back and forth or rocking on your heels because these actions could annoy or distract your audience.
7. De-catastrophize brain freezes
It's natural to forget what you were going to say during a speech, and most individuals who have delivered speeches before have probably experienced this. Even while it may seem disastrous at the time, the audience frequently overlooks it, and if they do, they quickly forget it. You may swiftly overcome the memory lapse and continue your presentation properly if you realize that this tiny glitch in your delivery is simply that and not a catastrophe.
8. Don't fear silence
To be clear, it's normal to take a little while to get to the next point in your presentation. Your anxiety leads you to feel that the worst-case scenario is a mental block, which is followed by an eerie quiet.
Fear not the pause! These gaps, whether deliberate or not, can aid listeners in processing the information you just shared. But a pause might act as a breather for your listeners to contemplate what you just stated. All you need to do is take a few deep breaths, cognitively recover from the lapse, and confidently resume your presentation. In this manner, you may even emphasize a certain subject in your presentation and make excellent use of pauses.
9. Vary your tone: speak slowly and get loud
Interesting speakers change the pitch of their words—from high to low—as well as their volume and speed—from quick to slow. By doing this, you maintain the attention of your audience.
Speaking slowly can enable you to control your anxiety and guarantee that your audience can hear you. Before the presentation, work on speaking slowly because it's simple to speak rapidly when you're feeling particularly tense or frightened.
Making strong arguments requires a loud voice, whether you're speaking in a room or on Zoom. Increased volume not only makes you more audible but also immediately exudes power, authority, competence, confidence, and leadership.
10. Let your notes support you
Your speaking notes should be treated like a shopping list: brief reminders (no whole sentences) of the topics you need to cover and the sequence in which you need to do so. Your notes could be extensive at first, but as you practice, you'll use them less and less.
Never forget that your notes are there to help you, not to script you. Your arguments should be communicated to the audience, not read aloud.
When you're scared or anxious, smiling is a wonderful strategy to employ. Endorphins are released when you make this facial expression, which boosts your confidence. Additionally, it conveys eagerness and assurance to others, which will enhance the audience's understanding of your message.
12. Know the thumb rules of audience truth
There are three of these:
- the audience believes you are the expert throughout the presentation;
- they support you; and
- they are oblivious to your missteps.
After the presentation
13. Recognize your efforts and success
Celebrate giving a presentation since it is an accomplishment to be proud of. In addition to your loved ones, friends, and coworkers, you should give yourself a high five.
14. Ask for feedback
If you use feedback as a tool to help you perform even better the next time, it's a wonderful gift. Find out what certain individuals of your audience loved and disliked. Remember that errors may teach you a lot.
15. Don't beat yourself up
The only thing anyone — including you — can ask for is that you tried your best. And everything that you do is done to the best of your ability at that moment even if you think you could’ve done more. Keep that energy for the next time. Practice makes perfect, you say? We can’t say for sure, it makes improvements!
In college, public speaking is a must, and although the idea might make you cringe, it is certainly possible to give an engaging presentation.