Dealing with stressful factors during presentations

A presentation is a complex process, and its final success depends on many factors. Top-flight presenters stand out for their ability to do two things simultaneously:

  • They produce a well-prepared speech.
  • They can deal with stressful situations that might appear during the presentation.

Most people do not enjoy public speaking because of those situations. Getting nervous before and when giving a speech, they don’t consider it pleasant to worry about how to answer possible provocative questions or how to react when someone leaves a room during the presentation.

69% of people prefer to avoid public speaking whenever it’s possible, and 67% don’t think they are able to deal with the stress. As the result, many speakers become anxious and nervous, which doesn’t work in their favor.

Your ability to cope with stress adds impact to the presentation, helps to activate the feedback, and makes you a professional speaker worth trust and respect. It’s obvious that dealing with stressful factors during presentations is the skill for every good speaker to master.

Provocative questions are the most obvious type of stressful situations. Unfortunately, they are not alone in the list.

Here come typical stressful situations along with the tips on how to react to them.

1) You lose the train of thought

Nothing terrible has happened. Repeat a previous phrase beginning with “I would like to highlight that…” It will give you extra time to restore the course of your presentation. Also, you may gain some more time, rephrasing your last words or showing some relevant examples until you refresh memory about what to say next.

2) You missay something

First of all, try evaluating your mistake:

  • Is it subtle? Ignore it and continue speaking. Your audience will understand it was a slip of the tongue, while additional explanations will do nothing but distract listeners.

  • Does it change the meaning of your words? Specify what you wanted to say.

3) You forget to mention something important

Nothing terrible has happened. An audience doesn’t know your presentation in details. Only you will know that you have missed something. In case it’s significant, you can support your previous words with this idea or return to this idea at the end of your presentation.

4) Someone leaves the room during your presentation

Do not take it personal as the reason is not your presentation, as a rule. Continue speaking as if nothing has happened.

5) Slides stop working

It won’t become a problem if slides preparation was correct. Support your ideas with additional facts, examples, and arguments instead of slides.

6) The power goes out

A common suggestion here would be to take a break. But if you are confident and have some illustrative examples, you may continue without the light. It will show your flexibility and make your speech memorable for an audience.

They are effective behavior presets that can become for what it’s worth. Sure thing, it’s impossible to predict every single situation that might happen, and that is why mental conditioning techniques shouldn’t be underestimated, too. Smart and timely decisions are possible to take only when a speaker is free from performance anxiety.