Abstract illustration of a girl doing a presentation on a whiteboard

How To Calm Your Nerves When Doing A Presentation In Front Of The Class

Let’s conquer the nerves that you get when presenting in front of your class, once and for all. Even Harrison Ford, a.k.a. Han Solo a.k.a. Indiana Jones gets the jitters, sweaty palms, and dry mouth before he has to speak to a large crowd of people. Celebrities, world leaders…they’re just like us. But there are a few tips and tricks for students that you can follow before or during your next presentation to calm those butterflies in your stomach. Keep reading!

Student Tip 1: Practice makes perfect

Just like studying for a test or training for game day, practicing your presentation/speech over and over again is very important. Once you know the material by heart, you can concentrate on perfecting your pace, your stance, and such. And soon enough, you’ll sound like you’re just having a conversation with your friends. Talking about friends, if it’s possible, grab a friend or two to help you practice. They can give you good feedback and talk to them helps you simulate doing a presentation. If your friends are busy, book a short session with a tutor – not only can they give you constructive feedback, but they can also cover the odd hours in the day. Ultimately, the more you practice, the better you will be able to speak clearly and confidently. 

Student Tip 2: Cue the cue cards

Stage fright and nerves can really get you the moment you stand in front of the class, and you risk forgetting everything (even though you practiced for days!). But holding on to a few cue cards/notecards will bring you back into the presentation. The point of these cards is to help you remember what you have to say. Hence, make sure the notes are precise and concise, because you don’t want to simply read off of your notes. 

Student Tip 3: Pace yourself and pause a few times

It’s normal to talk faster than usual when you’re nervous. And when you talk too fast you will breathe less. Feeling short of breath will induce more panic, unfortunately. So, practice slowing down when you speak, and you will be more calm and relaxed. Also, you can take a brief pause between portions of your speech – this will help you organize your thoughts and prepare for the next part. 

Student Tip: Final note

A lot of times we feel more nervous than we let on. Remember, inhale confidence, exhale doubt.

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