Grab the handles and hold on tight – the presentations season is here! Are you ready? After weeks of preparations, pushing your groupmates to finish their parts of the project, many evening or night mamak sessions an discussions – the moment has arrived. But how to calm your nerves?
You are just a minute away from standing in front of the class while trying not to look at the projector screen, and deliver your speech. But suddenly you feel that you’re out of breath, your palms are sweaty, and everything you had in your memory is suddenly… gone! What to do? Help help!
1. Practice lah!
Well, it’s quite an obvious one, but trust us – it really helps to calm your nerves during your performance. Why do you think actors and dancers practice for weeks, or even months, before their actual performance? Because practice makes perfect!
If you don’t prepare for your speech, you’ll end up stressed and anxious during the presentation itself. Make sure you know what you’re going to say. Then, practice. The rule of thumb is to go through the whole content 5 times. And no, it’s not about reading all over again or saying the words in your mind. The only way you can learn is to say things loud!
Practice your first words the most – so that after the initial 2 minutes you can relax and focus on the audience, instead of your memory. Ask your friends or family members to be your spectators – and you can just practice in front of them. Even practicing by video recording yourself can be very effective!
2. Get enough sleep
Sleep is always very important – no matter if you have the presentation on the next day or not. If you’ve had a good night’s sleep the night before, your body will be able to support your brain to make sure you’re capable of any kind of flawless performance.
3. Stick a 20 sen coin under your shoe
Yes, you heard it right! It’s believed that putting a 20 sen under your shoe during your presentation will automatically calm your nerves and bring more confidence.
Ok, we researched and it’s actually an old myth that many people still believe in. But hey, if a coin stuck to your shoe gives you that extra boost, why not try it out?
4. Drink water. And more water. And a bit more water.
Keep yourself hydrated. This is because a dry mouth can cause anxiety – and when you suffer anxiety, you feel more nervous. And we all know what being nervous leads to: uncontrollable ticks and higher stress level, which is visible to everyone around you!
So keep your water bottle with you always! The more colorful and happy the design, the better 🙂 Just by looking at your tumbler you could feel better, especially if there’s a unicorn or your favorite Pokemon drawn on it!
5. Work on your breath and body language
Breathing through your nose will add some natural resistance to the breath. This technique is best for relaxation as it will help your mind to focus your racing thoughts before taking the stage. Centering your eyes helps to concentrate and calm your nerves in no time. When your eyes wander, they take in random, extraneous images that are sent to your brain, slowing it down.
6. Dont forget to smile! 🙂
Sincere smiling emits chemicals in the brain that calm the nerves and promote a sense of well being. Plus, it shows your audience that you’re happy to see them and enthusiastic about the message you’re sending.