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We all know the feeling we have an important presentation or key training session to deliver and suddenly the nerves hit us and we have the proverbial ‘butterflies’ in our stomach.

Here are 15 practical strategies to help reduce this feeling and boost confidence.

  1. Practise- Probably something that you have already thought of. Use a small group to practise with and try out those jokes and quips that sounded so good when you first thought of them.
  2. Check your material and drop any unpopular or contentious comments before the big day. At the very least ,this will reduce your anxiety on these points
  3. Obtain feedback on the trial sessions so you know what to change.
  4. Create a list of the key points on poster paper and post them high in the back of the room where you’ll be presenting or if using an outline platform display the key notes on the wall in front of you (which will be behind the camera and only you will see them)
  5. Practise not only the words you will use but also with any props that you will use so that you have the routine slick and professional.
  6. Rehearse your talk and record it and watch and listen to it making a note of what you don’t like so that you can modify it.
  7. Rehearse the material under a bit of stress, if you match your likely state of mind when delivering the real thing, you will increase your confidence that you can cope with the pressures of the real event.
  8. Sit where your audience will be sitting -to get a feel from their prospective. In virtual meeting imagine where they might be sitting when they log in to your presentation.
  9. Virtual Background- A frequent feature of virtual meeting is the option for the speaker to select and display a virtual background. You might choose to display a picture of your ‘normal’ office or some other professional background. By doing this you can relax if your home office is a little bit messy because no-one else will see it.
  10. Test and quiz yourself. Got a few minutes spare time -write out the first 5 minutes of your presentation.
  11. Visualise yourself successfully delivering your presentation/training session and being congratulated for it.
  12. Study other successful speakers and emulate what they do. However, be sure to be you and not a poor copy of someone else. You were selected for this opportunity because of the qualities you process and that is what people are expecting.
  13. Practice in front of a mirror. Remember of course that you are seeing a reverse image.
  14. Exercise or undertake a physical activity that has nothing to with your presentation. Living near the ocean I love taking walks by the sea as a way distracting myself and getting some exercise.
  15. Relax: breathe deeply