Managing performance anxiety
Be well prepared
- Design and prepare your oral presentation well in advance.
- Make effective presentation notes.
- Don't plan to read your presentation (reading a presentation out loud is very dull).
- You can have the presentation notes in hand refer to them.
- Practice often using your notes; over prepare.
- Practice out loud (do not practice silently in your head).
- Know your introduction really well.
- Check your equipment (computer, projector screen, flip chart, chalk, dry erase makers, etc.)
- Visualize problems that may occur (What if I forget to say something important in my talk?) and plan how to deal with them. (E.g. Say, "When I was talking about XXX, I forgot to mention that...”
Use relaxation techniques
- Tense and relax your hand muscles while waiting your turn.
- Practice deep breathing while waiting.
- Laugh; try to think of something funny.
- Repeat a positive "mantra" or calming phrase to yourself.
Think positive thoughts
- You know more about this topic than the other students in your class.
- The audience likes you and wants you to succeed.
- A speech is not a performance but an act of communication; focus on the message.
- No one will notice that you are nervous (they can't hear your heart beating!)
- It's normal to be nervous at the beginning of a speech; get through the first 30 seconds and you'll be fine.
- You are a world famous expert speaking on your topic in a TedTalk.
- You are a teacher giving a lecture.
- You are only talking to your friends and know that you can impress them with.