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Overcoming Presentation Anxiety

In the weeks before your presentation...

  • Inquire about the room set up and equipment. Podium? Microphone?
  • Practice, practice, practice on your own. Try in front of a mirror.
  • Practice before a mock audience of family and friends.
  • Video record a practice session. Critique your voice, eye contact & gestures.
  • Know your material thoroughly as this will build your confidence.
  • Anticipate questions & how to respond.
  • Create a simple outline on one note card (acts as a "security blanket.")
  • Practice your opening lines over & over again until you don't stumble. You want to start strong!

At least an hour before your presentation…

  • Drink water & remain hydrated.
  • Take a short stroll with relaxed arms. Breathe in deeply & exhale.
  • Double check room set up. Test the equipment.
  • Close your eyes. Imagine yourself in front of the audience, addressing both sides of the room.
  • Rehearse your opening lines. Do it again.

About 20 minutes before you present…

  • Secure help to distribute handouts.
  • Touch base with moderator/timekeeper.
  • Go to the rest room. Stretch out your arms. Gently roll shoulders.
  • Refocus eyes out window/across room. Breathe in deeply & exhale.
  • Take another sip of water.

As you walk to the podium...

  • Remind yourself: I know my material!
  • Breathe in deeply & exhale.
  • Have eye contact with audience. Smile.

List developed by Robin G Walker, PhD.

Public Speaking Advice
From Toastmasters International 

Toastmasters offers public speaking tips on everything from accepting awards to addressing diverse audiences. 

Entrepreneur Magazine:
9 Steps to Help You Conquer
Your Fear of Public Speaking 

See their infographic