If you are anything like me, you have no problem talking normally on a day-to-day basis but then you get set a presentation as an assignment and you freeze. Throughout high school and sixth form I’ve had my fair share of presentations to do and sometimes it doesn’t feel like they get any easier, so today I wanted to share some of my top tips for presenting to an audience (some of which I too need to follow!)
Probably the most important but one of the hardest is to remember to breathe! I struggle with this personally as I want it to be over so quickly I read my notes as fast as I can and end up struggling to breathe by the end of it (not a good idea). To combat this form of panicking, remember to stay as calm as possible before the presentation and where possible distract yourself, so you don’t get too worked up before you’ve even begun (and definitely don’t watch your heartbeat on your Fitbit as that will ensue more panicking!)
- Eye Contact
Another easy-to-forget step is keeping eye contact with the audience. It is easy to get fixated on your cue cards but this can emphasis nerves to the audience, to combat this ensure you know what you are going to say next and that will allow you to look across the room for a few seconds at a time. Even a little glance every few points will make a big difference as the audience will connect more with what you are talking about!
- Project your voice
If you are nervous and end up rushing, your speech can end up sounding slurred and sometimes even quite quiet, meaning the back of the room will not be able to hear you, but that defeats the object of the presentation. Where possible it is ideal to project your voice nice and clearly so that the whole room can understand what you are saying. Projecting your voice also makes you sound more confident than you probably are which will attract the attention of the audience more towards what you are telling them.
- Be prepared
An easy tip to disregard but be prepared! This is so important as it can save a lot of panic on the day. Often if you practise a lot at home or to friends it can help with nerves on the day as you know that you know your lines and speech inside out, this is will also help you to make more eye contact as you don’t have to worry about forgetting your place or what you have to say next.
- Try to enjoy it!
This might not be easy, but enjoy it if you can! The presentation will be better for the audience to watch if you are happy and relaxed as you’ll appear a lot more natural and interested in what you are talking about.
Hopefully these tips helped you and good luck to anyone with a presentation coming up! Remember to stay as calm as possible and breathe :)