speaking without Being Nervous

How to Stop Being Nervous When You Present -Effective Tips To Try

Did your heart beat uncomfortably fast while reading that headline? Are you getting sweaty in weird places just thinking about your next presentation? First of all—welcome to the club. Public speaking can make even the most seasoned professionals lose their cool; it’s remained one of the most common fears around the world for the last forty years. However, most people who get nervous when thinking about speaking publicly know that once it’s over, it’s never as bad as they imagined. Here’s how to stop being nervous when you present and get to that invigorating post-presentation peace before you even start.

Causes Of Anxiety When Presenting

How to Stop Being Nervous
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To tackle anxiety and learn how to stop being nervous before a presentation, it’s helpful to get to the root of the issue: what is causing all this anxiety? We know the easy answer—all these people are staring at me! And expecting words to come out of my mouth coherently! But there are plenty of subtle anxieties festering away that cause unwanted (and sometimes unexpected) presentation nerves.

We will discuss some main causes of presentation anxiety, and after we’ve identified them, we will offer tips on how to beat each one. Understanding where your anxiety is coming from is the first step in knowing how to stop being nervous when you present.

1. Expectations

Before giving a speech or presentation, the expectations alone are often nerve-wracking. You will inevitably feel pressure to be your best—an expectation of a flawless, confident presentation with the most accurate information delivered in the most professional manner. Consider one thing though: whose expectations are these? Your audience’s? Or your own?

2. Breathing

Being nervous in any situation usually causes shortness of breath and shallow breathing. This results from the fight-or-flight response, which gets triggered when you face seriously nerve-wracking situations like public speaking. Combine this with the expectation to talk clearly and fluidly, and suddenly you have a tough situation on your hands.

3. Past Experiences

It’s all too easy to remember that one time in eighth grade when you made a presentation in class and no one clapped at the end. Maybe there’s a more serious mistake from your past that’s making you extra anxious this time around. Remembering how nervous you were before a speech in the past can make an upcoming presentation seem especially scary; it could produce fear of another failure.

4. Self-Consciousness

Being mildly self-conscious can be good if it helps you tap into a new perspective of yourself or your presentation and allows you to view it from an outside angle. However, worrying about what people will think about you and your presentation can kill your whole flow, especially if you launch into it with these thoughts bouncing around in your brain. It can be hard to hear your own thoughts when you’re speculating about what everyone else is thinking about you.

5. Being Unprepared

Maybe you’ve done so many presentations you’ve stopped caring that people are listening to you and looking at you. There’s still one thing that can trip you up: being unprepared. Not knowing what you will say or if you will fill your entire allocated time will not bode well for maintaining a sense of calm. Feeling unprepared is one of the biggest causes of public speaking anxiety.

6. Comparing Yourself To Others

Are you fourth in a four-person presentation series? There’s no way you won’t compare your presentation with the previous presentations. Even if you are a standalone presenter, it can be hard not to compare yourself to other great orators you may have heard, whether it’s Abe Lincoln or the person who introduced you. It’s no surprise that comparing yourself to others is a surefire way to induce anxiety before a presentation.

7. Physical Awkwardness

Possibly the most common thought during a presentation is the question of what to do with your hands. We all get self-conscious when we know we are being looked at. If you have issues with your body or the way you talk already (who doesn’t?), the thought of allowing people an all-access view to all of you can understandably cause your nerves to skyrocket once you get to that podium.

Now that we’ve covered causes of presentation anxiety, let’s move on to what you’ve been waiting for: how to stop being nervous when presenting.

How to Stop Being Nervous When Presenting

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While understanding the causes of presentation anxiety is important, this knowledge alone will not teach you how to stop being nervous when presenting. You need to know how to address the root cause of your anxiety. We will go through each of the root causes identified above, and give you practical advice on how to deal with each.

1. Expectations

In dealing with expectation, the first step is to identify if it is your expectations or somebody else’s that is causing your nervousness. It’s most likely that your harshest critic is yourself. All your audience expects is to learn something they did not know before. You are the only one expecting a flawless and flowing piece of verbal art. When you can learn to let go of your unrealistic expectations of yourself, your nerves should ease. You should strive to give a presentation that is an improvement from your last presentation—nothing more.

2. Breathing

Quick and shallow breathing is your body’s way of helping you prepare to run away from your presentation or fight it. We suggest a different option: breathe deeply, and if you can, practice diaphragmatic breathing. To do this, fill your stomach up with air on your inhale, and try to empty your stomach of all that breath on the exhale. Doing this will also help the way you talk; public speaking uses up more air and demands a more concentrated, focused breathing method than your usual casual breathing.

3. Past Experiences

Use past failures as a tool for motivation. Take your practicing more seriously and dedicate more time to your public speaking skills. That way, before you go on, you’ll be thinking about how much better your presentation will be than the last one, instead of focusing on how badly a previous presentation went.

4. Self-Consciousness

The best way to get over self-consciousness is to get over yourself. There is a wise and somewhat cynical saying that no one is ever paying much attention to you. It might sound sad, but it can be helpful, especially in public speaking situations. The lady in the front row is thinking about how her hair looks, not how yours looks. The person presenting after you is thinking about his or her own speech, not yours. Be conscious of yourself, but remember that no one will notice most of the things you believe you are being judged for. If you can gain this perspective, you are well on your way to learning how to stop being nervous when presenting.

5. Being Unprepared

This is the easiest cause of anxiety to fix. All you have to do is prepare! It may be more work to read over your notes an extra couple of times or practice in front of your mirror the night before, but it will pay off in two ways; it will improve your presentation, but more importantly, it will get rid of so many of those nerves that stem from not knowing what will happen when you present. No more fear of blanking out for you!

6. Comparing Yourself to Others

Again, this tip is mostly a reminder that no one is as critical of you than you. The only healthy comparison you can make is between your current self and your past self, in this case, your current and your last presentation. As long as you are continuously improving, who cares if the person in front of you just brought the audience to tears? That could be you one day, but only if you stop unfairly comparing yourself to others and celebrate your growth instead.

7. Physical Awkwardness

Sometimes, being aware of your body is unnerving—we rarely think of ourselves as our physical forms. Consider the existential benefit of knowing you are a human that other people are aware of. Then, more practically, get rid of that “what do I do with my hands?” weirdness by deciding what to do with your hands. Committing to a power stance and consciously not fidgeting can project confidence—and projected confidence can easily turn into real confidence. If you know you look confident, you might begin to feel confident too.

How to Stop Being Nervous When Presenting: Pro Tips

Presenting in front of others can be a nerve-wracking experience, but there are things you can do to help reduce your nervousness and give a more confident presentation. Here are some tips:

  • Practice: The more you practice your presentation, the more familiar you will become with the material, which can help reduce your nerves. Practice in front of a mirror or record yourself and watch it back to identify areas where you can improve.
  • Know your material: Make sure you know your material inside and out. This can help you feel more confident and prepared during your presentation. Research your topic thoroughly and organize your material in a logical way.
  • Take deep breaths: Taking slow, deep breaths can help calm your nerves and reduce anxiety. Try taking a few deep breaths before you start your presentation, and continue to take deep breaths throughout.
  • Use positive self-talk: Use positive affirmations to help build your confidence. Tell yourself that you can do this, that you are well-prepared, and that you have something valuable to share with your audience.
  • Visualize success: Visualize yourself giving a successful presentation, and imagine how it will feel when it’s over. This can help you stay focused and confident during your presentation.
  • Engage with your audience: Make eye contact with your audience and try to connect with them. This can help you feel more comfortable and can also help engage your audience in your presentation.
  • Use humor: Humor can help lighten the mood and reduce tension. Incorporate appropriate humor into your presentation to help you and your audience feel more relaxed.
  • Be yourself: Finally, be yourself. Don’t try to be someone you’re not. Be authentic and genuine, and your audience will appreciate your presentation all the more.

How to Control Your Nerves

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Public speaking is a skill that can be learned and honed with practice, but it’s not uncommon to feel nervous when speaking in front of others. Whether you’re giving a presentation, speaking at an event, or just speaking up in a meeting, nerves can get the best of us and make it difficult to perform at our best. However, there are many techniques and strategies you can use to control your nerves and give a confident, polished presentation.

There are several techniques you can use to control your nerves in stressful situations. Here are some tips:

  • Deep breathing: When you’re nervous, your breathing can become shallow and rapid. Take slow, deep breaths to help slow down your heart rate and calm your nerves. Inhale slowly through your nose, hold for a few seconds, and then exhale slowly through your mouth.
  • Progressive muscle relaxation: Tense and then relax each of your muscle groups, starting with your toes and working your way up to your head. This can help you release tension and feel more relaxed.
  • Mindfulness: Focus on the present moment and try not to get caught up in anxious thoughts about the future. Pay attention to your breathing, your surroundings, and the sensations in your body.
  • Visualize success: Imagine yourself successfully navigating the situation that’s making you nervous. Visualize yourself feeling calm, confident, and in control.
  • Prepare and practice: The more prepared you are, the less nervous you’ll feel. Practice your presentation or prepare for the situation that’s making you nervous.
  • Challenge negative thoughts: Identify negative thoughts that are contributing to your nerves and challenge them. Ask yourself if they’re realistic, and if there’s evidence to support them.
  • Exercise: Physical activity can help reduce stress and anxiety. Try going for a walk, doing some yoga, or engaging in another form of exercise.
  • Seek support: Talk to a trusted friend, family member, or therapist about your nerves. They can offer support, encouragement, and guidance for coping with your nerves.

Remember that it’s normal to feel nervous in stressful situations, and that it’s possible to overcome your nerves with practice and patience.


There will come a time in everyone’s life when they have to give a presentation of some sort. Don’t let your anxiety get the best of you; you’ve got this! Now that you understand some sources of your anxiety and how to tackle each of them, you’ll know exactly how to stop being nervous when your big moment arrives. So breathe, let go, and enjoy the ride—and don’t forget to teach your audience a thing or two while you’re at it!

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