Giving a presentation in front of any size audience can be hard if you are shy or become nervous in front of groups. A natural rush of adrenalin sends an excess of blood to the face making the already unsteady presenter feel even more nervous and self-conscious. While you can't instantly stop blushing when presenting, you can take actions to prepare and calm yourself before your time to shine arises to lessen your nerves, stop the fight or flight response and prevent your body from releasing adrenalin.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
Prepare your presentation well ahead of time and make sure you know the subject you are talking about and your script or dialogue. Memorise the wording of your presentation, if possible, so you can fall back on your knowledge without have to rely on notes or the presentation materials.
Practice your speech or presentation multiple times alone in front of a mirror. Pay attention to how you act, such as saying "um" or "uh" a lot, fidgeting your hands or swaying and shifting your weight. Practice the look and feel of confident presenting for smooth speech and relaxed posture and try to drop the nervous habits as you notice you are doing them.
Ask friends or family members to sit through your presentation and give you feedback not about the subject but about how well you performed. If you are finding yourself doing the same nervous movement or speech pattern, let them know so they can tell you if you did it or not during your practice.
Incorporate relaxation techniques such as taking deep breaths, doing yoga or finding quiet and calm during a hectic day to decrease overall stress. By decreasing day to day stress, your body is less likely to produce adrenalin on the spot, allowing your presentation time to involve minor stress but not induce a fight or flight response.
Practice visualisation exercises by lying back, closing your eyes and imagining your presentation going smoothly without blushing or nervousness. Picture yourself speaking your well prepared presentation word for word without difficulty, fear or anything going wrong.
Tips and warnings
- Often finding an activity that builds your confidence is one way to decrease feelings of nervousness and stop blushing. This can be anything from a sports activity to regular exercise or taking a class where you focus on gaining a skill and increasing confidence in yourself as a whole.
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