Public speaking remains the #1 greatest fear of most American. Standing in front of others when all eyes are on you just creates an unlimited potential for shame or embarrassment. Making a public presentation can be a nerve-wracking experience, but there are a number of things you can do to ensure your presentation goes off without a hitch.
1.) Prepare thoroughly
Like Edison said “Genius is 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration.” Making sure you know your material backwards and forwards, inside and out is going to go a long way to ensuring a smooth delivery when you have an audience staring at you.
2.) Practice, Practice, Practice
As another old saying goes “practice makes perfect.” You may think you have a rock-solid grasp on your material, but when you’re standing on a stage in front of hundreds or even thousands of people, even the most knowledgable experts have a tendency to freeze up. Before you get in front of an actual audience, try videotaping yourself so you can see what you actually look like while delivering material. You may notice that you seem stiff or wooden, or have a tendency to say “um” a lot. Practice until you feel comfortable with what you see on camera and then practice in front of a real audience. Gather family, friends or coworkers and keep right on practicing until you can’t get anyone to watch you practice anymore.
3.) Plan for everything that you can think of that could go wrong
Can you still present without your Power Point slides? Can you project your voice to a good sized audience, so they can hear you without a microphone? Would a loud noise right in the middle of your presentation make you lose your place and completely throw you off? Will you have a sound check or opportunity to practice on stage before the presentation? The more you practice things that could go wrong, the more confidence you will have that you can still carry on anyway. There is always a chance that the one thing you didn’t prepare for is the one thing that will go wrong, but the more you are prepared for any event, the less unplanned events will throw you off your game.
4.) Plan some time to rest and relax beforehand
The more rested and relaxed you are before you present, the better chance you give yourself of having everything go smoothly. If you are not local to Nashville, try getting in the night before and get a good night’s sleep. If a bath or massage relaxes you, try to plan one for the day before or the morning of your presentation. When in Nashville, consider using our limo service. Using a car service in Nashville is a great idea, since local chauffeurs will be far more likely to know the best routes and best ways to avoid traffic. They will also generally know in advance exactly how long it should take to get to your destination and how much leeway you need to ensure you arrive on time and stress-free. You can also spend the drive time mentally going over your material or just doing some deep-breathing exercises or relaxing in preparation for your presentation to ensure you arrive relaxed, confident and assured of your ability to deliver a spectacular presentation!