If you are new to public speaking, you will likely be nervous the night before a big presentation. When I first started doing presentations, I would stress about them days before hand and I rarely slept the night before. When it came to presenting, I spoke way too fast and injected the word “um” into my sentences one too many times. I even used the “image your audience is sitting in the underpants” trick. After a few months of doing presentations, I finally started to feel comfortable.
Aside from practice and experience, there are many things that you can try to ease the stress of giving presentations, from reviewing the presentation topics to getting a good night’s sleep. If you find that stress takes over the night before a presentation, try these little tips and tricks to try and alleviate some of the stress.
- Preparation is crucial. If you are well prepared, you should feel confident. Review the information in your presentation and make sure that you are knowledgeable about all the topics.
- Try to anticipate some of the questions audience members may ask you and practice formulating some possible answers.
- Practice your presentation a few times. Present to a family member, friend, or in front of the mirror. Remember not to talk too fast and be sure to make eye contact with your audience members.
- Take a well deserved break. If you have reviewed your presentation, put it away and take a break. Try taking a walk or reading a book to take your mind off of it.
- Get plenty of sleep. You are likely to give a better presentation if you and feel more confident in your own abilities if you have had a good night’s rest.
- Give yourself plenty of time the next day. If you are presenting in the morning or at another location, give yourself plenty of time to get there. This way you will have time to set up and run through your presentation.
- Think positively. Know that you are going to do a fantastic job!