Presentation Skills: 4 Ways You Can Calm Your Nerves - [website] Email Print
Published: 31st of Mar 2023 by: Shona Potgieter

Butterflies, sweaty palms, shaky voice, shallow breathing, heart racing... You might find that you experience some, if not all, of these symptoms when faced with the task of giving a presentation.

Let's face it, not all of us are born with a love for the limelight or that "all eyes on us" feeling. For some, the thought of giving a presentation can be quite daunting...

Which is why we created our Presentation Skills workshop.

And for those who tend to be more comfortable with the idea of presenting, you are also more than welcome to join... Who knows, you just might learn a new trick or two to take your presentations to the next level!

But for now, I want you to think back to the last time you had to do a presentation... How did your body feel? What was your breath doing? It's quite common for the nerves and tension to take over and run the show, as if we're just guests along for the ride. What can we do to take back control?

Well, today we're sharing our top tips to help you stay cool, calm and collected at your next presentation...

Arrive at your destination early. This gives you the opportunity to get comfortable in the space and familiarise yourself with any technical aids you will be using. There’s nothing that will mess with your head like fumbling with he projector or struggling with a sound system. Avoid unnecessary stress by showing up early...

Take deep breaths. You can give the 5-5-5 method a try... Breathe in for 5 counts, hold for 5 and breathe out for 5 counts. Remember, this needs to be slow and controlled. What does this do? It helps us manage our nerves and gain control of our breathing, because when our breathing is quick and shallow we tend to talk faster, the faster we talk the more out of breath we become and the more panicked we feel... You see the vicious cycle?

Practice, practice, practice! Make sure you are familiar with your content, even if you have notes. You don't want to be surprised by a question from the audience that you are not prepared enough to give an answer to... And as they say- practice makes perfect. Being comfortable and confident with the content of your presentation will go a long way in helping you feel and look cool, calm and collected!

Pay attention to your body language. If you feel nervous you might look nervous. And it can work the same the other way around. Portray confident body language and you'll not only appear confident to your audience, but you might even find yourself feeling more confident. So keep those shoulders back, arms nice and loose, use your hands while talking, chin up and don't forget to flash that million dollar smile!

Here's to making your next presentation a breeze! We hope you found these tips helpful? If you would like to learn more about this topic then please don't hesitate to contact us, we're standing by to take your call and get started on your booking.

Staff Training is a South African soft skills training provider with more than 60 workshops on offer.

Email us at for more info or give us a call at 0861 996 660

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