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Presentation probs: BUSTED!

 

Your face is getting hot as your hands begin to shake. Suddenly it’s like your body is falling apart—your heart beats viciously inside your chest, your palms begin to sweat, and oh no...you’re about to give that dreaded presentation. But don’t let those pesky nerves get you down, girl. Take a stab at these tips before your next presentation and wave goodbye to all those public speaking woes.

Be prepared

With all the projects going on this time of year, it’s hard to feel 100% prepared for your presentation. However, practicing as much as possible can make a world of difference. Next time you’re waiting in the car for your mom to pick your sister up at a slumber party, turn the video camera feature on your phone on you and practice what you’re going to say in front of the class. By videotaping yourself and watching the recording, you’ll learn things you wouldn’t normally have seen, like that you say “umm” every 5 words, or that you bite your lip at the end of every sentence.

Remember that everyone gets nervous

It’s crucial to remember that even the most talented people get nervous. Ariana Grande, Broadway actress and singer, admits to feeling anxious before performances and red-carpet events. With that being said, remember that no one in your class is a professional public speaker (plus, they're probably nervous too), so don’t be so hard on yourself. The nerves you are feeling are totally normal.

Eat breakfast—but avoid milk

You have enough to worry about on presentation day. Stressing about being hungry shouldn’t be something you’re thinking about (in addition to feeling like your body is falling apart). Make sure to eat breakfast that day—even if you regularly skip it. It’ll give you more energy to face the day, and you’ll think clearer with a full stomach. One word of advice? Skip the milk. If you have tummy troubles when nervous, milk is probably not the best choice of beverage for the day. Opt for OJ instead.

Use the bathroom before class

One of the many unpleasant results of feeling nervous is the nervous pee. Next time you have a presentation, make sure to use the restroom before class. That way, you won’t have to worry about peeing your pants in front of the class (you know you thought about it).

Take deep breaths

Before you go to speak, take several deep breaths. Nerves often cause our breathing to be shallow, but focusing on our breathing allows us to use our lungs to their full capacity. Inhale slowly throw your nose, hold the air in, and then slowly exhale through your mouth.

Roll your head in a circular motion

This is a great exercise to do while waiting in your seat before you present (or you can do it in the bathroom stall if you don’t want to look silly!). Relax your body and tilt your head to your right shoulder. Slowly let your head roll from your shoulder, to your chest, and across to your left shoulder. Do this a couple times. It should relax you and calm your nerves a little before the big presentation.

Bring a water bottle with you

It’s super normal to get a gnarly case of dry-mouth before presentations, so don’t freak out. Bring a bottle of water up to the podium with you when it’s your turn to speak. Feeling a lump in your throat? Did ya stumble on your words because your mouth is as dry as the Sahara? Don’t sweat it. Pause for a second, take a sip of water, and recollect yourself. Even professional motivational speakers bring water bottles onstage with them because it happens to almost everyone. Having a dry mouth is no biggie, just take a sip of water and relax. 

Envision yourself acing it

The best sports stars imagine themselves winning the big game. Getting in a positive frame of mind is half the battle. Instead of playing those awful “what if” thoughts over and over again in your head, think positive thoughts. This will be the best presentation my teacher sees all day!

 

Got any fave tips on how to calm presentation nerves? Share in the comments below.

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by Melanie White | 2/1/2016
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