After practising, writing out your script, bullets, etc., you get to your big day and sit waiting to be called. I never know what is most nerve racking when waiting to present, sitting in a meeting, waiting outside an office or listening to the last speaker finish and get rapturous applause at the main conference. But which ever one it is, here are a few thoughts to help calm those nerves.
• It is quite natural to think that you have forgotten what you are going to say as the minutes tick away – you will remember it, and your slides are there for your support not just for the audience. Usually the audience will not have seen the presentation before. If you miss something out don’t worry – they won’t know.
• Focus on your first few lines – “Thank you for inviting me to present here today.
My presentation is focused around the contention that….” Getting things off to a good start is half the battle.
• The audience, in nearly all cases, will want you to do well. This is most often the case at more formal events. No one wants to see you fail. They will be wiling you on, and most will place themselves in your shoes.