Why do I get so nervous during presentations? This question comes to the mind of every person who is about to deliver a speech or presentation. Anxiety frequently takes the form of a fear of public speaking. From mild trepidation to paralysing fear and terror, it can fluctuate in intensity. Many persons who have this phobia either completely avoid public speaking situations or endure them while trembling and speaking shakily. But you can get over your fear if you prepare and persevere.
Public speaking is one of many circumstances where feeling nervous or anxious is normal. Other manifestations of what is known as performance anxiety include stage fright, test anxiety, and writer’s block. However, a social anxiety disorder may be present in people with severe performance anxiety that includes significant worry in other social situations (also called social phobia). Cognitive behavioural therapy, medicines, or a combination of the two may be necessary to treat social anxiety disorder.
10 reasons for getting nervous during presentations
The information you need to get started on the path to greater confidence and enjoyment in public speaking is provided here. These are the ten main causes of your fear, along with the advice on how to get over it and, in essence, reclaim your life!
1. Discomfort in front of large crowds.
This is the justification for performance anxiety that is most usually given. “I’m alright speaking to small groups, but when there’s a big crowd, I get tremendously nervous”, is a common statement made to speech instructors. Two tactics will be useful:
- Remember that the individuals you speak with one-on-one are also those in a large audience.
- Focus on merely chatting to them rather than “presenting” to them. You will be at your peak.
2. Fear of coming out as tense.
Do you worry that you’ll appear frightened? A lot of speakers do. So it’s simple to suppose that if the audience notices your anxiety, they’ll assume you don’t know your subject. However, the two are obviously unrelated. Don’t you feel sorry for the speaker when you see them shaking rather than passing judgement on their professionalism? If anything, your audience will sympathise with you rather than reject you.
3. Fear that you are being judged by others.
The hard-love message in this situation is that nobody genuinely cares about you. They are there to learn something from your speech, presentation, or lecture. They want to make the most of their time. Everyone feels embarrassed when they witness a speaker stumble. Therefore, the crowd is actually rooting for you!
4. Previous failures
Fear of public speaking is frequently an acquired tendency. In other words, you failed in the past, and that’s when the seed of self-doubt was planted. However, if you are knowledgeable and ready this time, there is no need for things to go wrong the way they did in the distant past. Not unless you firmly think it will happen. Instead, make a success plan.
5. Inadequate or poor preparation
There is no reason you should succeed if you haven’t done your research, which includes understanding your target. You are the only one to blame. Being unprepared has a negative impact on public speaking confidence. However, nothing inspires confidence like knowing you’re prepared. Your decision.
The toughest love message that can be provided to clients who are stage nervous is this. Speaking while exhibiting severe self-consciousness is narcissistic. If you are completely preoccupied with yourself, how can you possibly impact others? Not at all. Therefore, “illuminate” your audience by turning that strong spotlight around. You are irrelevant. It’s true.
7. Unhappiness with your performance.
Okay, I admit that this is a valid worry. But among the Top 10 reasons, it’s also one of the simplest to fix. If your speaking abilities are lacking, you should be unhappy. But frustration may be a great motivator. Get the speech therapy you’ve been considering. You can feel a tonne more confident just by knowing you are a top-notch worker. You will probably become considerably more eager to communicate as a result.
8. Feeling uncomfortable in your own body.
Why are we all at ease physically with friends but awkward and self-conscious in front of a crowd? If it describes you, read the advice about engaging listeners in the conversation above. You should be able to unwind by doing that. When you’re in a cosy setting, take attention to how you stand, sit, gesture, and move as well. Recreate that organic movement in front of bigger crowds.
9. Poor breathing techniques
You likely have no idea how to breathe for speech unless you’ve studied acting or singing. More air is needed for public speaking than “vegetative breathing.” In order to maintain sound through the conclusion of your concept, you must also manage your exhalation. The method for doing all of this is diaphragmatic breathing. Additionally, it does wonder for slowing your racing heart.
10. Evaluating yourself against others.
Never do it! Never try to be a “great” public speaker. Your topic or area of interest should be engaging when you talk about it. That is it. The really wonderful news is that you are the only person in the universe who can tell us about it as well as you can. Indeed, you are the speaker we wanted to hear.
Ways of controlling your nerves while presenting
The dread of speaking in front of a large audience often results from the belief that others will evaluate you when you’re in front of them. Memory is aided by the frontal lobe of the brain, which is temporarily shut down when we are agitated due to an increase in stress hormones. We freeze up and stop talking because of this.
There’s nothing wrong with being anxious; the key is learning to control and go through those feelings.
The following advice will assist you in managing your anxiety before, during, and after a presentation.
Prior to the presentation
1. Know your subject
You’ll feel more assured as you get more knowledge about your subject. You won’t need to refer to your notes in order to respond to queries.
2. Keep order
Spend some time carefully planning every part of your presentation. Creating PowerPoint slides or other visual materials like films is a common example of this. Tell the organiser in detail what format and technology you will use. Prepare your background and space if it will be virtual. This guarantees a smooth presentation and lowers your tension.
You can never practise enough, whether you’re practising in front of a mirror, a family member, or a pet. Request comments regarding your voice volume, eye contact, and body language. If you plan to deliver the presentation through video conference, record it there so you can check your appearance and voice quality.
4. Think about your success
Positive thinking will become more instinctive the more frequently you do it. Your confidence can significantly increase if you use positive self-talk. Successfully practise the presentation in your brain.
During the presentation
1. Concentrate on your content, not the audience
Your audience isn’t there to judge you; they are there to hear your presentation. They’ll be watching your vivid slides while also paying attention to what you have to say. Put enjoyment of the presentation to one side and deliver it as you practised.
2. Don’t be afraid of silence
It’s acceptable if your mind wanders for a moment. Although the time you spend trying to decide what to say next may seem like an eternity to you, it really only lasts a few seconds at most.
3. Talk slowly
Slow down. You might speak more quickly than you intended if you’re experiencing presentation anxiety. The fact that the audience can understand you will make them grateful, and if you speak slowly, it will allow you time to collect yourself.
4. Breathe deeply and sip water
Your brain receives oxygen through breathing, improving your ability to think clearly. Drinking water provides you with more energy and a chance to take a break.
The simplest yet most powerful approach to calm your anxiety is to smile. Endorphins are released when you do this, which makes you feel more self-assured. A smile will also help the audience be more receptive to what you have to offer.
6. Always keep in mind the “three truths of the audience”
There are three of these:
- The audience believes you are the expert throughout the presentation
- They support you
- They are oblivious to your errors
After the presentation
1. Celebrate your achievements
Celebrate giving a presentation because it is an accomplishment to be proud of. In addition to your loved ones, friends, and coworkers, you should give yourself a high five.
2. Take reflections
If you utilize feedback as a tool to help you perform even better the following time, it’s a beautiful gift. Find out what certain individuals of your audience loved and disliked. Remember that mistakes can teach you a lot.
3. Do not criticise yourself
The only thing anyone — including you — can ask for is that you tried your best.
Read this article for more useful insights: 17 tips and tricks to stop shaking and ease your anxiety during a speech
It’s totally normal to experience performance anxiety feelings occasionally. In actuality, many people shy away from public speaking. But the more you encounter these kinds of circumstances, the more at ease you’ll feel.
Concentrating on your sentiments will only make matters worse if you become apprehensive when giving a presentation. To combat your nerves, consider your talk as an act of kindness: You’re giving something valuable to other people. Research has shown that being kind and generous lowers our stress levels.
When you are putting together the presentation, use this frame. Start with some reflection rather than with your topic. Who will be in the room, you could ask? What are they expecting of me? Create a presentation that specifically answers those demands.
Take slow, deep breaths and keep in mind that you are there to assist your audience when you are feeling particularly anxious on the day of your talk. Make eye contact with your audience during the presentation, even if you’d rather be doing something else. Imagine yourself conducting a succession of one-on-one interactions with various people, giving them all the information they require. This attitude of generosity can transform a traumatic event into a giving one.