Performing, presenting, and/or speaking in front of a crowd can be difficult. Some presenters suffer from performance anxiety, experiencing symptoms like rapid heartbeat, excessive sweating, difficulty with breathing, and nausea before they go on stage. These symptoms can affect one’s presentation, causing him or her to mess up and give a bad impression to the attendees or audience.
To prevent these things from happening, it’s very important for one to relax before and during his presentation day.
How to Relax Before A Big Presentation
The Day Before Your Presentation
The day before your big presentation can be very crucial. It requires effective preparation in order to have a successful performance the next day. Here are some relaxation techniques you can try.
Prepare for Your Performance
Before you start relaxing, it’s very essential to prepare for your performance first. As much as possible, practice your piece frequently. Make sure that you’ll practice in a quiet area. Don’t let other people distract you.
Remember, don’t just simply memorize a speech or a dance step. Create an outline for your presentation. List down all the salient points on a piece of paper. Having an outline can lessen the chances of screwing up the presentation. It will help you recall the important things you’ve forgotten. Don’t forget to check the stage and equipment (e.g. computer and projector) needed for your presentation.
Visualize A Positive Outcome
Once you’re done practicing your piece, you can start relaxing the day before your big presentation. In order to relax effectively, you must forget your worries first. If you have had a horrible past experience, stop thinking about it and move on. The new presentation can be key to change the way people think about you.
Start thinking about the good things instead. Make yourself visualize that it will be a successful presentation and that you will able to please the audience. To prevent yourself from worrying about the performance, let yourself visualize that you’re having fun at the beach or talking to your favorite celebrity.
Doing entertaining activities can also help you relax before a big presentation.
You can watch your favorite show, read a book, or play a video game to prevent yourself from worrying too much. Walking in the park can make you calm down as well. You can also try engaging in activities like yoga and tai-chi. They can help you meditate and get fit at the same time. As much as possible, exercise moderately and don’t tire yourself out. Engaging in too many physical activities may not help a person relax before a big presentation.
If you don’t want to exercise, you can talk to your best friend instead. Talking to a friend helps you release your emotions. There is no need to go to a psychologist to seek for help. A trusted friend can give you advice and even a pep talk regarding your presentation plans.
Listening to music is also helpful for those who want to relax before a big presentation. Listening to a CD playing the sound of a waterfall or birds chirping can make you feel calm. Listening to relaxing sounds will make you imagine that you’re exploring natural wonders. It will help you forget about the hustle and bustle of the city temporarily.
Eat Healthy Foods
As much as possible, eat healthy and relaxing foods before your presentation day. Eat light to prevent having that bloated feeling. Avoid drinking alcohol and caffeinated drinks. These drinks won’t help you relax the night before your performance. Caffeine will keep you awake while alcohol can make you dizzy. Drink warm milk to help you stay calm. Consume foods like nuts, green veggies, and dark chocolate to help you relax before a big presentation. These foods have chemicals like serotonin that can keep your body relaxed.
Get Adequate Sleep
Having good rest is also a must if you want to relax before a big presentation. It helps you gain energy that you need for your performance. Sleep for at least 8 hours. If your presentation requires rigorous practice, make sure to take a 20- to 30-minute nap before starting your practice.
How to Relax on the Big Day
If the day of presentation has come, it’s very important to be ready and remain calm. Relaxing on the day of your big presentation will help you execute your tasks properly. Here are some tips that will help you ensure a good performance.
Review Your Piece
Make sure to review your speech or performance before entering the stage. Do it a few hours before you have to go on the stage. Don’t panic if you think that you’ve forgotten something. Use an outline to help you recall the important points. Ask the organizers if they did some last-minute changes. Make sure that all things are clear. Doing it will help you to relax before a big presentation.
Treat your day of presentation as an ordinary day. Take it slow and be yourself. Make sure to wear comfortable but formal clothes that make you feel confident. If you’re having trouble recalling a line, don’t be in a hurry to remember it. Rushing into things won’t relax you at all. It will make you panic even more.
Interact with People
Interacting with fellow speakers and some members of the audience is a good way to relax before a big presentation. Talking to them can be helpful in fighting performance anxiety. It will help a speaker in expressing his thoughts properly. This can also be a way to know the attendees more.
Deep breathing is also a good technique that can be done in order to relax before a big presentation. It usually starts from the belly all the way up to the nose. Breathing deeply can slow down a rapid heart rate and make you calm down.
Treating the Audience as Friends
It will be helpful if you will treat your audience as if you’re talking to someone close to you. Don’t be afraid to share the things you know. Smile while looking at them. If possible, add a little humor to your speech to avoid getting nervous.