Presentation Skills – How to overcome nerves

Are nerves holding you back?

In business we often have to present our product or service to an audience.  Few people relish the thought of standing before an audience and speaking to them. Fear can grip anyone simply at the thought of having to stand up and speak.

How can you control your nerves so that you are able to make a presentation to an audience?

Here are some tips that I have found helpful.

Be prepared.

Always prepare your presentation. Don’t just think that because you know what you are going to talk about that this is sufficient. Write down some ideas and compose notes so that you have a beginning, a middle and an end to your presentation.


Make it a habit to practice out loud your presentation and if you are demonstrating a product make sure that you know that the product will work.

On the day

View your audience as friends not enemies. Have the right mental attitude and convince yourself that these people are not there to attack you but want to listen and benefit from your presentation. So why should they frighten you?

Beathe slowly and deeply before you start your presentation in order to relax your vocal cords.  Smile at your audience before you start to speak and look people in the eye. You may find also helpful to speak slowly at the start if your presentation allows that. It is also good to warm up your voice if you can maybe by humming or singing a few words before you get out in front of your audience. I find it helpful to stretch my muscles and relax just to unwind my body so that it does not tense up.

Good training

Seek out quality public speaking and presentation courses. By attending a course and learning good presentation skills you will find that you will not only become a better presenter but that you will gain confidence to help you control your nerves. Always remember that nerves are not a bad thing if controlled. Even the most accomplished public speakers have some nerves. Nerves can keep you from becoming complacent and will encourage you to prepare and practice before you give your presentation.

This article has been written by Roland Millward of Roland Millward Training Services.

Roland Millward offers courses in public speaking in the U.K.


2 thoughts on “Presentation Skills – How to overcome nerves

  1. For some reason, although I am terrible on phone or web cam I am actually fine with speaking on stage! Unfortunately the only chance I have had at this is my local amateur dramatics so have not done any actual speaking yet.

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