How to Beat Nerves before a Presentation
By  Sharon Alexander

If you've been selected to give
a presentation at the next
department meeting or if you
have to present new information
to a client, you may become very
nervous in the days leading up
to giving the presentation.

While a certain amount of nervousness
is expected, if you start to lose sleep,
lose your appetite or you're under
a tremendous amount of stress, consider
the following tips to help you
overcome nervousness and give
a terrific presentation.

Create a Professional Presentation

Most presentations focus on one or two topics and can last
anywhere from ten to twenty minutes. Before you begin
preparing, ask the people in charge of the meeting how long
your presentation should be. Take into consideration
slides, handouts or other visual aids you want to use so
you can create a presentation that is the perfect length.
When drafting your presentation, make sure you understand
your topic so you can interact with your audience easily.
During a casual presentation you will be able to use visual
aids, ask and answer questions and repeat important pieces
of information in order to reinforce your points.
Practice your presentation using visual aid devices that
will be made available to you at the meeting. This will
make you more comfortable changing from slide to slide,
starting or stopping a power point slide or referring to
documents you've given to the audience.
If you choose to hand out information before, during or
after the presentation, make sure you bring enough copies
for everyone. Find out how many people will be attending
and make at least five extra copies in case additional
people decide to attend.

Choose the Right Outfit

Wearing your favorite suit on the day of your presentation
can help reduce any stress you have. When you know you look
good, your body language will become relaxed. You may even
feel more comfortable answering questions during the
presentation. If you don't have anything suitable to wear,
consider buying a new outfit to make the occasion even more
special. Choose a neutral colored business suit (pant or
skirt suit), polish your shoes and wear a white shirt
underneath so you don't stand out from other people in the
room. Brightly colored suits are usually not appropriate
for presentations and may distract others from listening
closely to what you have to say.

Talk to the Audience

Meeting with those who you will be presenting to is a great
way to reduce stress. Knowing more about your audience will
make them seem less intimidating. Arrive early to set-up
and join the group for coffee or tea before the meeting
begins. Even if you will be presenting to co-workers, make
sure you mingle with other people in order to calm your

Giving a presentation can be stressful, but if you've
prepared your materials in advance, you should be able to
overcome any feelings of nervousness once you start
talking. Make sure you listen to yourself as you give the
presentation. If you feel you're talking too quickly, take
a deep breath in order to slow down. This will keep you
focused on what you're saying and keep the audience engaged too.

About the Author:

Sharon Alexander is the author of the ebook Claim that - The Ultimate Job-Hunting and Career Management
ebook that teaches the skills and techniques needed to
succeed in a competitive job-market.

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