Hi. It’s Jenny at AnxietyBoss.com. Our question today comes to us from Mary in Syracuse. Can you please tell me a few ways to relax when you have anxiety before a presentation?
Dealing with anxiety before a presentation is probably one of the most difficult scenarios to overcome. Unfortunately, the old “imagine everyone in their underpants” scenario doesn’t always do the trick. Sweaty palms, a racing heartbeat, and that feeling of just wanting to escape, it’s all normal. Reminding yourself you are not the only one who is feeling this way, is crucial in order to overcome your fear.
A particular tactic that I find helpful is if you are presenting in a situation where your peers are also required to present, remind yourself that they are most likely stressing over how their presentation is going to be and what they’re going to say, instead of being entirely focused on your every word, your hand movements, and your nervousness. Most of them won’t even care, and you are expected to be nervous. With that in mind, I try to present as if I’m just talking to a friend. Unless it’s required to be absolutely professional, joke around a little bit. If you stumble over a word or two, try to ignore it; or if you can’t, just laugh it off.
Another huge help is if you have any friends in your audience. If that’s the case, try to focus on them. If not, speak while looking at your professor or draw your attention to something else in the room. Additionally, if there’s anything that I’ve learned through my embarrassing anxiety related moments while presenting is that confidence is key. With anxiety and panic disorder, you sometimes forget that you, not your anxiety, are in control. You are the one who is capable of delivering your best or worst presentation. Remind yourself that this time it can be your best.
We encounter anxiety in our everyday lives whether we like it or not. If you’d like to learn other more detailed methods to dealing with your anxiety, as well as to see if you have anxiety that should be taken of, then you can visit AnxietyBoss.com.