Three Simple Steps To Avoid Panic When Delivering a Public Presentation

There is a difference between fear and panic and knowing how to avoid panic. Fear = Good; Panic = Bad. A little fear is good for you. Your awareness is heightened, your body starts pumping adrenaline, and you have a slight edge. It’s instinct to prepare for “fight or flight”, but you don’t want to actually get to that point at which it becomes panic. Panic is irrational decision making, nervous voice, stuttering, and complete loss of what you are doing. You collapse into complete defense mode. You can avoid panic with these 3 simple steps will show you how.

STEP 1: Practice, Practice, PRACTICE

This point can never be stressed enough. The nervous voice swells up quickly when you don’t know the material. You start stuttering and lose your audience. Ideally, you want to practice the presentation 5-7 times to help avoid panic. That is only as a completed version. Here are the steps to effectively practice for a presentation:
1.      Read The Script Out Loud. This step is critical. You must read it out loud to determine if it sounds like conversation. You need to practice in front of a mirror to see your body language and make sure your body and voice carry the same tone. Once you feel comfortable with the script, write it by hand at least three times. Rote memorization will aid in remembering your lines.
2.      Practice In Front Of An Audience. This helps give you feedback from a controlled setting. You will be more at ease with people you know personally. Giving the presentation to a small group will also help you relax in front of more people. The more you practice the better are your chances to avoid panic. This also helps time how long the speech actually takes.
3.      Visual Aid? Practice Some More. It is extremely important to know your visual aid. You never want to read directly from your presentation. Know the information so you seem credible. Make sure your presentation is error free because nothing distracts an audience more than reading errors. The wander off once they spot the first one.
Practicing is a huge step in the right direction to avoid panic. Going through the presentation once or twice does not qualify as practice. You really have to get inside your presentation, know your body language, and seamlessly have the timing planned.

Step 2: Rested Eyes See Better

Panic can creep right in if you are worn out. Make sure you give yourself a full night’s rest. Of course you’re going to be nervous the night before and will have difficulty sleeping. Go to bed extra early and set two alarms so you will sleep more soundly. It helps you relax with the insurance of two alarms. Going to bed earlier allows your mind to work out all the questions it still has. Along with rested eyes, make sure you take a shower (or bath if you prefer) the morning of the presentation. This makes you feel crisper.

Step 3: Eat Well

If you don’t put gas in the car, then you won’t go far. Make sure you eat a healthy dinner the night before and drink plenty of water. You can only do so much the day of the presentation. Your body is actually running mostly off of what you put in it the day before. Eating a breakfast that is high in protein will give you the strong base you need to keep your confidence (and energy) high for the day and aid you to avoid panic.

Say Goodbye To Panic

These three tips will keep panic at bay. Every person has some fear when they are on stage. All eyes in the room are on the presenter. Of course it stirs up some fear. What you definitely don’t want is to have panic strike and ruin the presentation. Use your fear to keep you aware and on top of the situation. Send panic packing because you were well prepared, fully rested, and well fed to deliver a crowd wowing presentation.

At wOw Prezi, we rebel against PowerPoint’s status quo and are in a mission to save the world from deadly PPTs, helping sales teams to transform stiff, slide-based presentations into fruitful, revenue-generating conversations.

Get in touch with our team of Prezi Experts to find how we can help your salespeople thrive with Conversational Presenting and the Power of Storytelling in Sales.