Nervous During Presentations? Reframe How You Think of Them..
When you get anxious during a presentation, focusing on your feelings will only make things worse.
Research shows that being kind and generous reduces our stress levels, so fight your nerves by thinking of your talk as an act of giving: You’re sharing something valuable with other people.
Use this framing when you’re preparing the presentation. Rather than starting with your topic, start with some reflection. Ask yourself, Who will be in the room? What do they need from me?
Then craft a presentation that directly addresses those needs. On the day of your talk, when you’re extra nervous, take slow, deep breaths and remind yourself that you are here to help your listeners.
Then during the presentation, connect with your audience by making eye contact — even if you’d rather do anything else.
Pretend you’re having a series of one-on-one conversations, providing each person with the information they need. This generosity mindset can turn a painful experience into one of giving.
This tip is adapted from “To Overcome Your Fear of Public Speaking, Stop Thinking About Yourself,” by Sarah Gershman.
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