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kimchi's avatar

How do you be brave for presentations?

Asked by kimchi (1432points) February 8th, 2014

Here is the scary part: I don’t know if I’m going Monday, Tuesday, Friday, etc. But it’s all through next week. I’ve been stressing so much over it and when I go up in front of the class and present, I stutter and stammer, and cannot make eye contact. How do you become brave when going up? I’m so scared! My crush is in that class also!

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7 Answers

johnpowell's avatar

You don’t. You just go ahead and realize your fear was totally unnecessary bullshit. I hate public speaking. Most sane people do too. Look, damn near everyone in your class is feeling the same.

I actually got great advice from my psychiatrist about this. He told me to try and be the first. That way everyone was so busy worrying about their performance they wouldn’t notice I sucked.

cookieman's avatar

Don’t actually look at anyone in the class (audience) while your speaking. Look just above everyone’s heads to the back wall of the classroom. It will appear as though you are making eye contact, but you won’t be as nervous. Just look at the back wall.

Works great.

Best of luck.

WarmFuzzies23's avatar

I teach motivational workshops for a living and when I am in-front of a classroom of people on their level physically, I find it easier than when they put me up on a stage.

I find a visual spot before hand, away from anyones face and choose to stare at it, at least until my nerves pass. I also practice my speech/ presentation only twice. I find it has a tendency to settle me to have a routine and keeps me from obsessing.

Another thing is to practice breathing, focus for 5 minutes before entirely on the breath going in, the breath going out. If you have ever seen the movie ” for love of the game, it’s “Clearing the Mechanism”

May your words and actions be clear, focused and articulate. having an affirmation ahead of time works too.

Now, here is the kicker, I have a trained singing voice, but get stage fright even doing Karaoke. Its no wonder I didn’t pursue my opera career.

Pachy's avatar

My heart goes out to you. Through much of my ad career I had the same project, and I had to make presentations all the time. But eventually, my fear and dread of standing up in front of people was replaced by nervousness I could handle. Nervousness to you can look like energy to your audience, and that’s a good thing.

Here are a few things I learned along the way:

* Prepare, prepare, prepare. Know what you want to say, then trust yourself to go with the flow. If you forget something or mix something up, don’t linger on it. The audience doesn’t know your script.
* Find one or more smiling people—people smiling and nodding are the best—and glance their way often. If you see someone scowling or looking bored, ignore him or her.
* Make yourself as comfortable as possible. I never much liked lecterns, so when I could, I used stools or simply walked around.
* Perhaps most important, try to think of your presentation as only a tiny chunk of time out of a day which, when it ends, you can pat yourself on the back for having overcome your fear.

Knock ‘em dead!

LostInParadise's avatar

As @Pachy says, preparation really helps. Make an outline of what you will be saying. It need not be very long. Have you practiced what you are going to say? Get a family member or friend to listen to your presentation, more than once if possible. It really helps to be very familiar not just with the material, which I am sure you are, but with the way that you will be presenting it. There is no way of eliminating the initial fear, but if you can settle into a groove, the fear should fade into the background.

nebule's avatar

I had to do a presentation not too long ago for 12 people in my class and it was about how I’ve changed during some period in my life. It was very personal. I actually felt ok about doing the presentation – I was confident in what I was saying and there were no wrong or right answers so it was fairly easy. And I had the entire script to read off so didn’t need to think too much.

However, when I stood up the nerves did take hold and even though I am on propranolol for anxiety (which some people take for speeches and things as and when they need them) I still experienced typical nervous symptoms. But I believed in what I was saying and allowed myself to be honest. I took my time, concentrated on breathing in between sentences, kept focused when I looked up at people (I used the look up to connect with people rather than seek reassurance that it was going ok) and I got through it.

You can do this. Above all, be yourself even if that is a nervous quivering wreck – people will understand and if they don’t, they’re not worth your time anyway xx.

marinelife's avatar

You be super prepared. Stand in front of a mirror and practice. Practice in front of your family. Pull some friends together and practice in front of them.

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