If you are nervous about your upcoming college presentation, you’re not alone. Nearly 75% of the population fears public speaking. It’s a real thing and it even has a name— glossophobia. One of the best ways to get through your jitters is to be as prepared as possible. And this is also also the most crucial element in getting a decent grade on your project. The next step is to make your presentation stand out from the rest in some way. That’s how you’ll get an A. So, how can you rock your presentation? Let’s take a look.
Practice, practice, practice
While there may not be a set rule as to how much time you should spend practicing, it is one of the most crucial elements to rocking your presentation. Think of presenting a project without practicing it first like submitting a rough draft. It is only during practicing the speech that you’ll catch mistakes or words that you might stumble over. Also, if you have the speech down in your head, it’ll be easier for you to feel confident when presenting it.
Dress to impress
You may think your audience is your fellow students. And while they are present during the presentation, your real audience is your professor. He or she will take into account how you present to your general audience, but will also be looking for a bit more. Your college presentation is simply a preparation for your future career. And when you’re dressing for the occasion, you’ll need to keep this in mind.
When assigning oral presentations, instructors do usually offer some guidance for apparel, but this isn’t always the case. You should feel free to email them and ask if they have a preference. But even if they don’t have any dress requirements, you should still consider it part of the assignment. If the presentation is casual, shop for something just a little nicer than you would normally wear at a store like a women’s boutique in Portland, OR. You don’t have to spend a fortune. You may find that adding a new accessory, such as a jacket or wool skirt to an outfit is all you need to dress it up.
Practice some relaxation techniques
Whether they seem silly to you or not, there are a few relaxation techniques that actually work. Aromatherapy is a popular method that some people swear by. Smelling a bottle of lavender before your presentation or applying the scent to your clothing could help keep you calm. You can also try some breathing exercises or yoga before going to class. People often report feeling more centered and relaxed when they use these methods.
A particularly good way to take some of the focus off of you is to use handouts that will keep your audience occupied. This is especially helpful at the beginning of the presentation. You can have a fellow classmate hand them out while you’re getting yourself together and offering your opening statement. Or you can hand them out yourself while beginning your speech. Combining activity with your speaking could help calm your nerves. Prepare your handouts in advance and present them in nice 2 pocket folders. This shows your instructor that you are both prepared and that you went the extra mile.
Use visual aids carefully
Visual aids are also allowable distractions for your presentation. If you can keep your audience’s eyes on the screen, you’ll feel less self-conscious about being in front of a crowd. You also may be allowed to dim the lights for better visuals, which may also help calm your nerves. You should, however, keep these visuals as simple as possible. The average attention span of an adult is right around five minutes, so offering complicated images to focus on will only frustrate your audience.