How to deal with presentation anxiety

The stress and anxiety you may experience when you are about to hold a presentation can be quite crippling. Here are four steps you can take to manage your stress better.

1. Know your intro and outro by heart

If you know your intro by heart you set yourself up for a great start, which helps you warm up and ease into the rest of your presentation. And when you know you ending well, the audience will likely be left off with a good impression of your talk, even if you stumbled upon the words a couple of times in the mid part of your presentation.

2. A bit of stress can actually help you perform better

Not all stress is actually bad for you. Your body uses stress to prepare you for performance, and it can actually help you focus more and be more confident. Watch Health Psychologist Kelly McGonigal's Tedtalk on how you can utilise your stress.


3. Power pose to focus your adrenaline

Power Posing is an effective technique to help you manage your stress. It might sound strange, but you can actually use your body language to focus your adrenaline, which will help you perform better. Go to a room or space where you can be alone a few minutes before your presentation and do big movements with your body - and make yourself big for a couple of minutes. I do this all the time before I go into meetings I'm stressed about and before I hold any presentation - and it helps me every time. Watch Amy Cuddy explain the science behind Power Posing and how you can do it in her TedTalk. 


4. Breath to relieve stress

Deep breathing is one of the best ways to lower stress in the body. This is because when you breathe deeply, it sends a message to your brain to calm down and relax. The brain then sends this message to your body. Those things that happen when you are stressed, such as increased heart rate, fast breathing, and high blood pressure, all decrease as you breathe deeply to relax (Source: University of Michigan).