You are five minutes away from making your presentation, when suddenly you realize that your stomach is doing strange things and your mind is rapidly going blank. Are these symptoms common? Yes! Even the greatest stage performer and great speakers in the world feel nervous when they are about to perform or make their speeches.
To make great presentations, you must be able to handle this critical time period. Hence that is why managing presentation jitters key tools to develop when you want to develop great presentation skills.
How do you manage presentation jitters? There is no single answer to this. But you there are three ways which you can work on to alleviate these jitters. You need to anticipate your presentation mentally, physically, and logistically.
You must first and foremost be very clear you will spend a lot more time preparing the presentation than you will actually making that presentation. Part of your preparation will be to memorize your opening and closing, usually about three or four sentences each. Even if you cover your key points from notes, knowing your opening and closing by heart lets you start and end fluently, connecting with your audience when you are most nervous. Remember also to grab your audience’s attention right from the start.
Go to the room where you will be presenting as early as possible so you can get comfortable in the environment. If possible go a few days in advance. It will be better if you sit through another presentation being held in that room. Going to the room/area a few days in advance is essential as it allows you to visualize your presentation. Visualization is a tool to learn if you want to develop great presentation skills. I teach visualization techniques in my presentation books. Being familiar with your environment is important so the first time there is not when you make your presentation. This enables you then, during your presentation, to concentrate on your audience, not your environment.
A wonderful preparation technique for small meetings is to go around shaking hands and making eye contact with everybody beforehand. For larger meetings, meet and shake hands with people in the front row at least, and some of the people as they are coming in the door. Connect with them personally, so they will be rooting for your success. Psychologically, we are rarely nervous when talking/presenting to individuals. But faced with the thought of an audience we begin to get jittery. Once you have met the audience or at least some of them, they become less scary.
It is totally natural to be nervous. Try this acting technique. Find a private spot, and wave your hands in the air. Relax your jaw, and shake your head from side to side. Then shake your legs one at a time. Physically shake the tension out of your body.
I hope these techniques will allow you to calm your presentation jitters. Remember everyone, from the novice to the professional presenters, gets jitters before making their presentations. But its how you manage it that is the key to making that great presentation.
The Author of this article is an experienced presenter and a champion story teller. He has immense interest in topics on public speaking, leadership, the art of negotiation, internet marketing strategies, investing and personal success
This following article is adapted/extension from/of his new ebook: "How to Develop Great Presentation Skills" .
If you like the tools to be able to improve your presentation skills by 100 times, YES 100 times please visit http://www.greatpresentationskills.com