Mental Conditioning Before Presentation
When a speaker comes to the audience, his first and foremost challenge is to look and be self-confident, feeling and projecting positive thinking, vivacity, and can-do attitude.
The question is, how to achieve this state of calm and clarity of thought?
Mental conditioning is one of determining factors to succeed with presentations, as it influences the audience persuasion, perception, and engagement.
While it’s of critical importance to feel comfortable and confident during presentations, most bush-league reporters have problems with stress management. Abundant stress hinders their ability to control the presentation process and transmits to their audience.
Signs of Anxiety
It’s not a problem for the audience to identify the unnatural behavior of a speaker, even if the latter one doesn’t consider himself tired and stressful.
His anxiety transmits via unconscious communication channels, as follows:
- unconfident voice
- cogwheel breathing
- shifty eyes
- unnatural postural pose
- no eye contact with an audience
- red face
- artificial gestures and moves, etc.
This exercise will help presenters eliminate the signals of stress. After all, often it’s better to get rid of the cause (anxiety) rather than effect (signs).
The first thing to consider: anxiety is a state of nature for every speaker, no matter how experienced he is and how many times he did public speaking.
According to The Book of Lists, 54% of adults are scared to death by public speaking, but they do not consider it anything wrong to get shivers up their spines when speaking. The point is to make these shivers move to the right direction.
In his book Speak to Win: How to Present with Power in Any Situation, expert in psychology of success Brian Tracy shares three tips for speakers to overcome anxiety:
Start with your message. To look and be confident, it’s crucial for a speaker to have an essential message people will want to hear.
Have spoken your heart out. Always tell about something you know and what cares you deeply.
Remember the audience is in your favor.
When followed, they help presenters overcome the fear of public speaking and gain the right mental conditioning for effective presentation. For those needed more practical advice on the topic, ten techniques are described below.
Gaining the Right Mental Conditioning
These tips will help reporters gain the right mental conditioning before presentations:
- Make sure that your appearance, equipment, and presentation notes are neat. It will help shifting the attention focus from your looks to the goal, which is your effective presentation.
- Check the auditorium lights. Make sure the room has enough fresh air and if there are enough seats for all visitors. Now you won’t have to worry about these details during the presentation.
- Make respiratory gymnastics - rhythmic deep breathing during 30-60 seconds - as it allows to avoid worries and helps your voice sound better.
- Do some physical exercises: squats, jumps, or stretches would work for good. They are great distractions from negative thoughts and proven to lower stress.
- Express your anxiety: write down your thoughts and feelings or tell your colleague about them. This will ease the nerves.
- Visualize your presentation. It helps focusing on success instead of failures during the speech.
- Imagine the worst case scenario has happened. Big chances are, you exaggerate the importance of your presentation. And even failed, it won’t kill you.
- Walk through the room, imagine yourself a listener, and spend a couple of minutes at a reporter’s place. Speak out several sentences of your presentation. These actions will prevent you from fear of forgetting the text, and make the auditorium a more familiar place to you.
- Stay busy right up to a presentation start: talk to colleagues, solve tasks, etc. Thus, you will have no time for worries, and your mind will have a warm-up before the speech.
- Try to guess possible questions that might appear after your presentation. Giving a prepared answer is less stressful, and it makes you look more confident and authoritative.
All these steps can help reporters control their mental conditioning before presentations and look more confident during the speech. Mental conditioning is significant when it comes to on-stage performances, as it allows to avoid stresses and get reporters’ message across the audience as is right and proper.
It’s recommended to complete passive techniques with active ones. Active mental conditioning techniques will help presenters to keep the flow. When ready for compromise questions and stressful situations, a speaker will minimize chances to be taken by surprise.