At one point in life, we all have to give presentations, whether we like it or not. Do you already know what is the best way to control your nerves and keep the attention of your audience consistently? In need of some advice on this? We provide you with some tips so you feel confident presenting from now on!
Breathe and take your time
Make sure to be on time and to in advance check if you have everything you need, this way you avoid unnecessary stress en you are able to focus more on the content of the presentation. Our first piece of advice is to stand up during your presentation. A lot of students prefer sitting down behind the computer, as they feel that it makes clicking through slides easier. But on the contrary, standing makes you look a lot more professional. During the presentation, it is of importance to remain calm, to take your time and to breathe calmly. Often people tend to start speaking faster when they are nervous, but for the audience, this is less pleasant to listen to. On top of that, it helps to drop some moments of silence. For instance, when you switch from one slide to another.
Stay on top of your nerves
Nerves are not per definition bad, at times you can even benefit from feeling nervous. It ensures that you stay sharp. Breathing in and out in-between your sentences helps a lot to remain calm. For more information, we recommend you search for breathing techniques on YouTube. And remember, if you are well prepared for your presentation, there is actually nothing that can go wrong.
Be enthusiastic and connect
It helps to listen to someone who is really enthusiastic about something. It grabs your attention immediately and you are more likely to keep on listening. Try to think of an example where somebody was telling you a story and you concentrated on nothing else than the speaker. That is exactly how you want your audience to be when you are presenting. Tip: Check a TED Talk as an example of how to present!
Not only you wish to have the audience looking at you, but also, you as the speaker should make eye contact with your audience in return. To make sure the audience keeps on listening, it is desirable to ask some questions and walk around in the room, to prevent people from getting bored.
Don’t be afraid of questions
After you managed to finish your presentation, there is room for questions. A lot of people see this as a nerve-wracking activity as well, but it should be the least difficult part of the presentation. It is the moment where you can speak naturally and formulate your answers at the moment. Just like a normal conversation, if there is a question to which you do not know the answer immediately, propose to answer the question after the session (this gives you some room to think about the question a bit longer).
In short: breathe, breathe, breathe and take all the time you need. Furthermore, master your nerves, stay enthusiastic, connect with the audience and don’t be afraid of questions!