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How to overcome presentation anxiety & stage fright [11 tips]

Imagine standing in front of a room full of people, all eyes on you, waiting for you to deliver a presentation.

Your palms are sweaty, your heart is pounding, and your mind is racing. You feel like you’re about to forget everything you prepared, and the fear of making a mistake is paralyzing. This scenario is all too familiar for those who suffer from presentation anxiety and stage fright.

“The human brain starts working the moment you are born and never stops until you stand up to speak in public.”  —  George Jessel

Couldn’t agree more!

Presentations can be nerve-wracking, and feeling anxious or fearful before giving one is not uncommon.

But what causes this anxiety and stage fright? And how can we overcome it? In this article, we’ll explore some of the common causes of presentation anxiety and stage fright, and offer tips and strategies for managing these feelings so that you can deliver a confident and successful presentation.

What is presentation anxiety/stage fright?

Presentation anxiety, also known as stage fright, is a common feeling of nervousness or fear experienced by many individuals when speaking or presenting in front of an audience. It can manifest in a variety of ways, including sweaty palms, a racing heartbeat, difficulty breathing, and mental blocks. These physical and psychological symptoms can cause significant distress and anxiety for the presenter, leading to a fear of being judged or scrutinized by the audience.

What causes presentation anxiety & stage fright

  • Fear of judgment: The most common cause of presentation anxiety is the fear of being judged by others. This is especially true if you’re presenting in front of a critical audience or people you admire.

  • Fear of failure: Many people experience anxiety when giving presentations because they’re worried about failing. They may fear they’ll forget their lines, stumble over their words, or fail to convey their message effectively.

  • Lack of preparation: When you’re not fully prepared for a presentation, it’s natural to feel nervous and anxious. Take the time to prepare your material, practice your delivery, and familiarize yourself with the setting where you’ll be presenting.

  • Negative self-talk: The way we talk to ourselves can have a big impact on our level of anxiety. If you’re telling yourself that you’re not good enough or that you’re going to fail, you’re likely to feel even more anxious.

Overcoming presentation anxiety & stage fright [11 practical tips]

1. Know your material inside and out

One of the best ways to overcome presentation anxiety is to be well-prepared. Practice your presentation until you’re comfortable with the material and can easily deliver it without getting stuck.

2. Take deep breaths

Deep breathing can help calm your nerves and reduce your anxiety. Take a few deep breaths before your presentation to help you relax.

3. Visualize success

Visualization is a powerful tool that can help you overcome presentation anxiety. Visualize yourself giving a successful presentation and receiving positive feedback from the audience.

4. Dress comfortably

Wearing comfortable clothing can help you feel more at ease during your presentation. Avoid clothing that’s too tight, too hot, or too uncomfortable.

5. Practice in front of a mirror

Practicing your presentation in front of a mirror can help you identify areas where you need to improve, such as your posture or hand gestures.

6. Use positive self-talk

Positive self-talk can help you overcome negative thoughts and emotions. Tell yourself that you’re capable of giving a great presentation and that you’re going to do great.

7. Focus on your audience

Instead of focusing on your own anxiety, focus on your audience. Think about what they want to hear and how you can best deliver your message to them.

8. Arrive early

Arriving early can help you feel more relaxed and prepared. Use this time to get familiar with the space, test your equipment, and make any last-minute preparations.

9. Start with a joke or anecdote/ Use storytelling

Starting your presentation with a joke or anecdote can help break the ice and get the audience on your side.

Just make sure your joke is appropriate and relevant to your topic.

Incorporating storytelling into your presentation can be a powerful tool in overcoming anxiety and boosting your confidence. By weaving a compelling story into your presentation, you can also keep your audience’s attention and deliver your message with more impact. Plus, the act of telling a story can help you feel more relaxed and natural, making it easier to overcome nervousness and deliver your presentation with confidence.

10. Have a good design for your slides

A visually appealing and professional presentation can help you deliver your message more effectively and engage your audience, while also creating a sense of professionalism and credibility. Additionally, a well-designed presentation can give you the reassurance that you’re fully prepared and ready to tackle your presentation with confidence.

11. Be yourself

Finally, be yourself! Don’t try to be someone you’re not or imitate someone else’s presentation style. The best presentations are those that come from the heart and reflect your own unique style and personality.

Work with us

The key to gaining confidence in your presentation lies in the power of good design and captivating storytelling. At Ink Narrates, we’re here to help you create a jaw-dropping presentation that will leave a lasting impression on your audience.

Get in touch with us today to schedule a consultation and let us help you become the confident presenter you’ve always wanted to be!


Are you ready to wow your audience with a killer presentation design?

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