CAREER

How I Deal with Public Speaking Anxiety

11:30 PM



I have a presentation in front of a CEO of a company that could make or break an advancement into a career field that I'm really excited about. The thing is, public speaking has always been one of my greatest fears. I know, it's a surprise because in any other setting I'm extremely extroverted, outgoing, and love having all eyes on me. Through my major (Management & Society), my leadership, and my interests, I've found that good public speaking is becoming more than just a skill to have but a necessity. Here are some tips that have always helped me to calm the nerves for the final day.




  1. Be ready: Whoever says that they are good at public speaking without practicing is complete liar. It's just the truth, great public speaking comes with a LOT of practice. Since public speaking is one skill that I have to improve on, I go above and beyond in the preparation. 
    1. Come up with questions that your audience is interested in hearing about 
    2. Weave those answers into a storyline if possible, it'll be easier for you to present this way
    3. After having all of your content ready, prepare your powerpoint. Powerpoint should just be a tool for your presentation and you should make every effort to minimize the amount of words present on each slide. Take advantage of the shapes, charts, and graphs to provide visuals for the information that you are presenting. You must not read from the slides. 
    4. After your powerpoint is ready, practice practice practice. Go over the slides that you find yourself stumbling over and don't limit yourself from making improvements to the slides or deleting the ones that sound irrelevant during your practice. You should practice almost to the point where you can present the slide in full detail without having to look at your notes. Those notes are there to assist you just in case your nerves get the best of you. 
    5. You can practice in front of friends, record yourself, and videotape yourself. Watch out especially for "um, like, uhh" and make an attempt to fill in those word spaces with silence. Repetitive fillers will cause your audience to be distracted from your real content.
  2. Have backup material ready: 
    1. Be ready for one accident and an additional one the day of your presentation. 
    2. Make sure that your presentation room has all the material needed to allow you to present from your personal computer. (converter cords, projector, etc) 
    3. You can also have backup by emailing the presentation to yourself, uploading it to a flash drive, and printing out copies of the slides just in case the building decides to run out of power. You can never be too prepared ;) 
    4. To avoid any problems that could occur as a result of different versions of Powerpoint on different computers, you can place screenshots of your powerpoint slides into the final powerpoint so that unique fonts won't be a problem. 
    5. Make sure to go 10-15 minutes early to have your presentation set-up with ample time to relax and get used to your presentation environment 
  3. Make your content relevant: 
    1. If there's any information you are certain your audience already knows, leave it out
    2. Make your points as succinct and clear as possible 
    3. Get your audience excited about your vision before presenting the details to them 
  4. Have fun: 
    1. Last but not least, have fun! Present the information you find interesting and relevant to your interests. This will make your overall presentation experience much more pleasant. Your audience will notice this spark when you present as well. 

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