3 Top Tips to Help You Relax When You Give Presentations
The Creative Juices
Last week and this week, I've spoken to two people who told me they had terrifying mind blanks at points in time when they desperately needed to be able think creatively. I'm sure we've all experienced the sensation of sitting in a meeting, standing in front of an audience or simply being in a group of people and suddenly been at a loss as to what to say next.
It might have been in answer to a simple question or attempting to recall a name or worse: in the middle of a key presentation to very important clients. You know the feelings – your mouth goes dry, your mind goes blank and you begin to sweat. It's not at all pleasant.
Fight or Flight
All this happens because your mind thinks you're in danger, or you've not been listening or you have a memory like a sieve, whatever the reason, your brain isn't making the right neural connections at the time you need them. The frustrating thing is, the more you desperately search for the name, the idea or the next statement, the harder it gets to locate.
And the more pressure you put yourself under, the more your neurology believes it really is in danger and begins to put you into fight or flight where adrenalin is produced, along with sweat and often an inability to speak without sounding wobbly.
Help is Here
Follow these instructions and the situation will immediately improve – I've used them for myself and with clients and they really do work;
1. Just before you present or talk, quickly go up onto your tiptoes and down again
2. Whilst you're waiting your turn to talk or present and no one is expecting you to speak – imagine you have a piece of chocolate on the roof of your mouth, just behind your front teeth. Gently push your tongue against the imaginary chocolate so it's not quite touching the roof of your mouth. You'll find this calms you right down, whilst you await your turn.
3. When presenting, go into peripheral vision – imagine you have a pair of glasses on (if you wear glasses, this is really easy) and extend your vision beyond and above the edges of the frames so you can see more above you and to the side of you. Your vision might blur temporarily, but practising this will get you in the right frame of mind for all kinds of stressful situations, such as meetings, presentations, dull parties etc
That's it. Practice these and you'll be as cool as a cucumber.
Rebecca Bonnington is a Leadership Coach, Corporate Trainer and Licensed Trainer of NLP, contact her on [email protected] or visit www.rebeccainspires.com for more information.
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