Presentation Anxiety

Emily Kader


Presenting in front of an audience may cause great anxiety.


--Audiences enjoy watching and listening to presenters who speak clearly and

seem comfortable.

--It can be uncomfortable for an audience to watch someone who is clearly

anxious or who has trouble getting ideas across because of nervousness.

--Presenting may naturally cause anxiety, nervousness, and unclear speech


A presenter should practice the presentation many times before the

actual presentation day.  Try practicing first alone and then in front of

friends.  If possible, go to the room where the presentation will take place

at least a few hours before you are scheduled to present.  Make yourself

comfortable with the room and the area from which you will be presenting. 

Have all the information you need in front of you, and avoid ad libbing.  A

few methods to decrease presentation anxiety during a presentation are:

--look above people's heads rather than making direct eye contact

--make actual eye contact only with supportive friends

--wear comfortable (but still professional) clothing so that you actually feel

more comfortable

--indicate pauses and breaks in your presentation

It will be time consuming for you to practice a lengthy

presentation many times.  Your practice audiences know this, too, and

therefore, participants for practice audiences may be hard to find.  Also,

sometimes the room where you will be presenting will be unavailable to you

until your scheduled presentation time, therefore, becoming familiar with it

will not be possible.  Having all materials in front of you and no ad libbing

can lead to little eye contact and a boring presentation.

Known uses:  I have used some of these methods to prepare for presentations

which inevitably cause me great anxiety.  They can be used in the reading of a

paper, in an outlined presentation, or in any other type of situation where

one has to stand up and talk in front of an audience.