“Public speaking is said to be the biggest fear reported by many American adults, topping flying, financial ruin, sickness and even death.”
If that quote from the Anxiety and Depression Association of America rings true with you, rest assured you are not alone. Feeling that bubble of nervousness expand in your chest can cripple the self-confidence of even the most prepared speaker, but everyone has experienced stage fright at one point or another. Even the most experienced public professionals and performers have admitted to this fear, but don’t worry, here are four easy tips you can use to help fight the battle against stage fright and deliver your professional PowerPoint presentation with strength and confidence:
1. Do your homework–practice makes perfect. It’s something we’ve heard since we were kids, and it’s one of those things that still holds true. Having a well practiced presentation allows your mind and body to remain more relaxed because you’re not always fixating on the thought of “what comes next”.
2. Mistakes will happen–it’s not the end of the world. If you’ve been following lesson #1 you should be able to use your added mental flexibility to calm the butterflies that come with flubbing your lines and smooth over that stutter with a smile. No one is expecting you to be perfect.
3. Envision your success–a little positive thinking goes a long way. When you’re not so worried about making mistakes, they are less likely to happen. Ralph Waldo Emerson said it best: “You become what you think about all day long.” Positive perceptions greatly alter our view of the world, and taking yourself out of the hole of self-doubt and criticism will only give you a better shot at success.
4. Realize it’s not about you. People are here to listen to your message, not judge you on personal attributes. The stage is a place where you are your own worst enemy–everyone else is most likely feeling a sense of relief that it’s you up there and not them! What’s of true importance is the content that you’re bringing to the table; you are just the vehicle of imparting something of value to your audience.
Say good-bye to tight stomachs and shaky knees and embrace the natural dignity and confidence of your stage presence with these empowering steps. A PowerPoint presentation doesn’t have to feel like death itself–armed with these quick tips, it can feel like a walk in the park instead.