If you’re anxious about giving presentations at college, you’re not alone: a fear of public speaking is more common than any other phobia. If one or more of your classes require you to give a presentation, don’t spend the weeks leading up to the big day feeling stressed. Here are some simple things you can do to overcome your anxiety.
1. Increase Your Self-Confidence
Most often, professors allow their students to choose a presentation topic from a broad range of options. Make sure you pick something that you find interesting and understand well. Your passion for the topic will be obvious when you speak and a thorough understanding will mean you’ll feel less anxious.
2. Take the Attention Away from Yourself
If your source of anxiety is having all your classmates’ eyes on you, prepare a presentation that means your audience will be looking at other things. For instance, you could change PowerPoint slides frequently, incorporate clips from videos, or have physical objects you can hand out. An added benefit is this will make the presentation more interesting and engaging.
3. Expect the Best
Stop thinking about the worse case scenario; instead, imagine the best possible outcome. Remember, since the other people in your class are feeling much the same as you, they’re likely to be supportive.
4. Prepare Yourself Physically
Incorporate aerobic activity into your day to reduce your anxiety. If possible, have a workout at times when you start to worry as well as shortly before your presentation. You will also feel better physically if you eat well. Complex carbohydrates and foods that contain tryptophan (like salmon, turkey, and dairy products) have a calming effect. Sugary foods and caffeine, though, will only add to your anxiety. Avoid any food at all in the hours leading up to your presentation to avoid nausea.
5. Use Relaxation Techniques
Whenever you’re feeling anxious about the presentation, use relaxation techniques. Some useful ones to try include deep muscle relaxation, visualization, and deep breathing.
6. Sleep Enough
You may find it difficult to fall asleep at night before your presentation, but it’s important to at least try to sleep enough. Put away screens at least an hour before bedtime to prevent stimulating your brain and meditate to clear your mind.
7. Choose the Right Clothes
On the day of your presentation, wear an outfit that gives you confidence. You may want to dress a little smarter than you usually do for class, but make sure whatever you wear is comfortable.
Overcoming anxiety about presentations often comes down to practice. This doesn’t just mean finding more opportunities to give presentations, such as in classes and clubs — it can also help if you speak your presentation out loud to yourself. Next, progress to giving the presentation to a group of friends. You can easily do both of these things in your Niagara College student housing if you live at Parkway Lofts. You’ll be able to prepare on your own in your private bedroom and then to a small group in one of our study rooms. Practicing like this will mean you’re prepared to give your presentation to the whole class without feeling overwhelmed by anxiety. Turn your college life around by applying for a lease at Parkway Lofts today.