I nearly never had problem in delivering a presentation, making eye contact, etc. My problem was that as soon as I would reach the rostrum, my heart beat would start pounding my ear, and then my voice would start to quiver. This shivering voice was my biggest problem. Once a friend of mine commented my presentation as a “Musical Presentation” 😀. The highest marks were 9 out of ten and mine were 8. So, you can imagine that where my presentation stood.
I never had problems, such as looking at the audience, the teacher, reading from slides, etc. I usually don’t memorize presentations. I just understand them and then make bullet point on a small paper that fits the size of my palm (this was taught to me by my first semester’s English teacher. So, thanks ma’am).
I’d like to add that I don’t feel shy, unconfident, or nervous, when I am speaking from my own seat, but if someone asks me repeat the same by standing in front of the class, I start trembling. I sometimes think that I don’t like to be the center of attention.
Someone once told me that I will stop getting nervous during my presentations when I’ll reach fourth semester. I was like, “Yeah, it may be so for girls who do not take much stress. But in my case I can’t be sure this will happen.” Now, when I have reached fourth semester, I find her being 100% correct.
But, I don’t give all the credit to the passage of time, and my continuous exposure to these situations. This was done, above all, with the help of God, and a little due to my own effort. I searched for exercise that can instantly reduce stress. I have learned from experience that there is no easier way to calm yourself and slow down your heart beat than this:
Deep breathing is the quickest and the easiest way to lower down your heart beat. It does so in only a few seconds.
I also found a book on how to improve my presentation skills. I found many things.
- The first was that you should first look at your audience and smile, so that they know you are confident. I didn’t exactly do this, but, as I am usually the one who changes the slides when my group members are presenting, I keep smiling to the audience and I look at them over and over again so that I can stop being nervous.
- I also found out that while one you are being questioned do not draw your head back because this will give an impression that you do not want to answer or do not know the answers. So, keep your head bet towards your audience.
- This one was learned from my own experience. If you have full grasp on your topic, then you won’t get confused or nervous.
In a nut shell, this semester nearly all my presentations went well. Although I was surprised when a friend of mine told me that she liked my Geology’s presentation (which was to the worst presentation in that semester). So, may be its all in your head, but trying to improve is not wrong. So, keep on trying….