Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Presentation Jitters


What's the one application on my computer that I hate using more than anything?
Yep, you guessed it...Microsoft Powerpoint.

As I nearly finish out the semester, I've been faced with quite a lot of projects that my teachers decided to graciously (not) wait for the last minute to assign. One of these projects was to present a lesson plan for teaching ancient Egypt. It was due today.

Doing the work is one thing, but when I have to present the material that's when I freak out. Normally my heart starts racing, I forget what I need to say, and (don't laugh) my voice starts getting shakey as though I'm about to cry. Yes it is that bad.

Well today I presented my lesson plan in front of my teacher and my classmates and it went great! I stayed calm and my teacher even remarked on how she really enjoyed how I set up the lesson.

So now, although I'm done with one of my presentations, I know that many of you are now facing the same dread. If so, here are some tips that I try to remind myself before I present:

  • Prep! Before I present, my heart is always racing like crazy! To combat this, I take realllly slow, deep breaths to try and relax. In addition, my old speech teacher used to tell us to bring a stress ball and squeeze it as hard as you can before you go up. They work really well.

    • Find your focal point! During today's presentation I would continuously scan the room, but I would only really focus my sight on my teacher. I noticed from the beginning that she was smiling, so I felt encouraged to continue!

      • Know what you're talking about! I think I get the most nervous when I'm not entirely confident in my topic. It really helps if you're passionate on what you're discussing.

        • Keep your composure! If you're doing a powerpoint presentation, you've probably felt the urge to hide behind the computer as you present. Instead, try and move around to keep everyone's focus on you!

          • Speak out! Make you sure you have that voice level turned up and avoid sounding monotone! 

            • Compliment Others! I feel as though sometimes the immediate aftermath can sometimes be the worst part of a presentation. You're wondering if you looked ridiculous up there and if anyone even cared. Earlier, I noticed that the girl that went before me was really nervous while doing her presentation. Once she concluded her presentation and sat down, I tapped her on the shoulder and complimented her on how much I loved her presentation and how I could see myself really using her project in my classroom. She looked instantly relieved, and looked a little more light-hearted about how she did.

              This is what I wore for my presentation. The teacher told us to dress casual so I wore something that I would feel comfortable wearing anyway, making sure that I had a cardigan to "cover up" and look more polished.

              Do you have any additional tips for presentation jitters?


              10 comments:

              ShortBlonde said...

              That's so funny, I gave a powerpoint presentation today too! I always try to write out detailed notes to keep on hand so I don't run out of material and have something to refer to if I'm tounge-tied. I love your outfit too! :)

              Sundresses and Smiles said...

              Congratulations!

              Lorri said...

              Glad your presentation went well! I am one of those weirdos that actually enjoys speaking infront of others. I know, it is strange. I wish I knew why it has never bothered me, but I don't. My hubby thinks it is because I can talk to a wall. :)

              The City Boy said...

              i think i hate excel more than powerpoint, must admit.


              leaf it to me was one of my favorite Lilly prints from last summer!

              SKB said...

              Great job! That outfit you wore was adorable. Check out my adorable giveaway!

              Kristine - A Graceful Home said...

              So glad your presentation went well! Cute outfit!

              Caitlin C. said...

              Congrats on your presentation going well! It is SUCH a relief when you finish making a big presentation or taking an exam. Speaking of exams - I should be studying for mine! EEK.

              PS. LOVED the outfit you wore! :)

              Little Pink Rain Boots said...

              Great outfit. I find that taking a few deep breaths before hand (or maybe screaming into a pillow, lets off some anxiety, as silly as it sounds.) And of course be confident, you've been studying, you know what you're talking about :) you'll do great!.

              -Julie. littlepinkrainboots.blogspot.com

              L said...

              I'm the same way -- I always freak out right before I give a presentation! LOVE this post, especially since I have a lot of presentations coming up soon!

              little miss southern love. said...

              I despise powerpoint presentations! But it sounds like you rocked it. Also- love the outfit! Very polished and classy for a presentation.

              xoxo.