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May 28, 2018
Ask ACE

Tips on how to get over being nervous when presenting to a large group

Kathleen Grammer can be reached at Kathleen.grammer@gmail.com

The Association for Consulting Expertise (ACE) is a non-profit association of independent consultants who value "Success through Collaboration." The public is welcome to attend its regular meetings to share best practices and engage with industry experts. For more information go to www.consultexpertise.com.

Q: How do I get over being nervous when I have to present to a large group?

ACE Advises: This question is asked time and again by individuals who must stand up in front of groups and present projects, products and services.

Understanding how YOU react is key to a successful presentation.

When do you start getting nervous? The day before? The morning of? Just before you walk to the podium?

What happens to you physically when you get nervous?

Sweaty palms, shaking knees, dry mouth, quivering voice? When do these sensations go away? Are you aware of your breathing patterns? Knowing these physical reactions is the first step in managing the adrenaline positively.

Knowing your subject matter and being prepared eases the nerves and helps you feel confident. Know what your message is. What do you need to convey? You are the messenger. If you believe in your topic, your work, your product, that will come through.

Practice is key to success! Practice in front of a mirror, in front of your peers, get feedback, revise your presentation or talk and do it again. Video your practice, watch it and take notes. Make changes if warranted and try it again.

Create a checklist to help you get organized and put you at ease. Wear appropriate attire for the occasion. Allow time for travel, early arrival and familiarization with the room. Claim your space! Check all technical tools in advance.

All the symptoms can be manageable with preparedness, practice and a positive and passionate approach to your topic, presentation or report.

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