Presentation Skills Training Tips


Presentations are an excellent way of communicating to large numbers of people at the same time. However, if you just try to communicate information, you're missing a trick. Good presentations should create interest and excitement in your subject material, and a trust and enthusiasm for you.

Dealing with presentation nervousness

It's OK to be nervous

You will always have a certain amount of nervousness and this is helpful for a good presentation. Nervousness will give you the extra energy you need to communicate. The sensation we feel when we stand up in front of people is a visceral feeling of wanting to run away or fight. If you try to squash these feelings you will inhibit yourself. You will start to feel restricted, artificial and wooden. Added adrenaline keeps your faculties sharp and ready to engage with your audience.


Extra adrenaline, however, can result in what is called shallow upper chest breathing and tension. Taking slow, deep breaths, breathing out fully and then in again, will help relax you. Here's a neat tip, try having something to pick up or put down, as the movement needed tends to release your breathing.

Get something else to do

It can seem a strange idea, but it seem our bodies feel better when they have some sort of displacement activity to occupy them. This is the reason so many people hold pens and fiddle with things. A small amount of this sort of displacement activity is not too obtrusive and can make you feel a whole lot more secure.

Hold on to something

You are at your most insecure right at the beginning. Try to avoid all the well-meant advice about what you can and can't do while presenting. Give yourself permission to do anything that makes you feel more secure until you begin to feel settled. This can include holding on to a lectern. Just standing next to something solid can make you feel a little less wobbly.

Go slowly

The breathing tip given above will help you slow down your presentation. If you go more slowly than you think necessary you will avoid gabbling. Your audience needs time to assimilate and interpret what you are saying. When your adrenaline is flowing, your sense of time can become distorted and what feels OK to you may look a bit like fast forward to your audience.

Next page working your audience

Home page presentation skills tips

Presentation Skills Articles and Further Reading

Read Presentation Skills outlining the 7 rules of good Presentation

Or an article titled Business Presentation Skills Training Tips

For a practical approach to PowerPoint Presentations, read the article titled Presentation Skills PowerPoint Survival Guide

For a shorter read, try Mastering Your Presenting Skills Style

For more about making best use of eye contact during a presentation see Presentation Skills - The Power of Eye Contact


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