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Ace your next big presentation

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in Office Communication,Workplace Communication

It’s completely normal to get nervous before a big presentation, even if you’re a veteran. But don’t let these butterflies get to you. In­­stead, use them to your advantage, Jac­­quelyn Smith and Rachel Gillett write at Busi­­­­ness Insider.

  •  Talk positively to yourself. Be­­fore you give a presentation, fill your mind with positive thoughts. You can even talk to yourself in the mirror with positive notes such as “You are a dynamic speaker! You are prepared and confident!” Be sure to use your first name or the pronoun “you” instead of “I.” This makes dealing with stressful situations a lot easier.
  • Strike your “power pose.” Harvard psychologist Amy Cuddy de­­scribes a power pose as an expansive and open stance where you take up a lot of space and hold your arms and legs away from your body. Your mind will start to feel more confident and you’ll start seeing challenging situations as opportunities rather than threats.
  • Exercise. If you feel tense before a presentation, take some time to get your blood pumping. Take a walk
  • around the office or a run up the stairs, anything to get fresh oxygen to your brain.
  • Take a deep breath. Anxiety tightens the muscles in your chest and throat, so try to minimize the restriction effect by taking deep breaths. This will bring more oxygen into your lungs and increase the flow to your brain. It will also interrupt the adrenaline and trigger your body’s normal relaxation response.
  • Acknowledge the three audience truths. Remind yourself that the audience believes that you’re the expert on the topic. Your audience will see you as an authority figure simply because you’re the one speaking. Also, remember that the audience wants you to succeed. Fi­nally, remember that they have no idea what you’re going to say. If you make a mistake, don’t acknowledge it. Just keep going, and don’t worry about apologizing—worry about moving the presentation forward. The audience will never know.

— Adapted from “15 things you should do right before a big presentation,” Jacquelyn Smith and Rachel Gillett, Business Insider.

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