5 Ways to Calm Your Nerves Before a Big Presentation

Tensed-up nerves shouldn’t be the reason you miss big presentations.

5 Ways to Calm Your Nerves Before a Big Presentation

Nothing is more discouraging than tensed-up nerves and fighting the jitters of presenting something you’ve worked hard on. But, there’s no shame in acknowledging that you do get the jitters sometimes before a big presentation.

Fortunately, there are some practical tips you can use to overcome the jitters before a presentation, so that your big presentation won’t be missed because of tensed-up nerves.


1. Arrive Early (and Attend Other Speeches)


Arriving early relieves you of the pressure and nerves of not knowing the location of where you’ll be delivering your message and it allows you the mental preparedness to take in the stage, the vibe of the room, and even where the nearest bathroom is for your bathroom breaks.

Moreover, if you’re lucky enough to be doing your presentation at an event or conference with other presenters, attend those presentations. The previous speakers can be your cue and first line of defense.

Listen to their speeches and check how the crowd responds. You’ll be able to gauge if the audience you’ll be presenting to has a sense of humor or are seriously interested in the subject. Additionally, by attending other speeches, you get to pay respect to your colleagues.


2. Return to Your Body


This means paying attention to how your body is responding to the tension.

Look at yourself and notice parts of your body’s responses to panic and the nerves you may experience. Remind yourself to remain calm and that there's nothing to worry about. 

Focus on being present instead of the self-defeating tendency of thinking of the worst case scenarios. Returning to your body will ground you in reality and remind you of your unique qualification for the task ahead.


3. Take Deep Breaths


That panicked breathing you notice is normal if you are anxious; it is the body’s natural reflex. However, it won’t help you speak easily, which is why you should take deep, long breaths instead of giving in to the shortness of breath.

Taking deep, long breaths will increase your body’s oxygen flow and lessen your shaking and shortness of breath. Soon you will feel calm and be back to your normal self and ready to speak easily.


4. Watch What You Eat/Drink Before the Presentation


Certain food or beverages can greatly aid in calming your nerves or helping you focus better, including:

  • Drink water right before your public speaking

If you’re having a dry mouth due to anxiety, you’ll need to drink water (and take a trip to the nearest bathroom before your speech). 

If your hands are shaky, consider holding on to a pen or your water bottle.

  • Salmon: High Omega-3 essential fats that help with focus and concentration

If you’re a fan of fish, then you can probably do a quick treat before going to your presentation to grab some salmon-based dish or snack. 

Salmon, with its high Omega-3 content, is scientifically proven to help the mind retain information and help keep your mood in a better state.

  • CBD Oil: Reduces anxiety during public speaking

Studies on the medical benefits of marijuana point to its ability to calm the nerves and relieve anxiety, which has contributed to a rise in the production and sales of CBD oils. But do check whether use of CBD oil is legal where you live.

Currently, there is not a single state that holds a ban on the use of CBD. States across the US legalized hemp-derived CBD thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill. However, there are states where CBD is only legal for medical purposes.

For example, CBD oil is legal in New Jersey for both hemp-derived and marijuana itself. CBD oil in Illinois, on the other hand, allows only for medical purposes while hemp-derived CBD is completely legal.

  • Complex carbohydrates

A diet that consists of complex carbohydrates will increase the body’s ability to produce serotonin, which calms the nerves.

Whole grains are your friends; sugary foods are your enemies.


5. Be Present to Manage the Nerves Along the Way


While you are presenting, manage the nerves by focusing more on what you want to say, making sure to be in the present moment and there with your message.

If you’re grounding yourself and focusing on the present, you’ll be able to identify which parts of your body are manifesting the anxiety and you can act on it prior, during, and after your presentation.


In Conclusion


Delivering a message to a crowd can leave anyone with an out-of-body experience. The aforementioned tips will help you calm the nerves so you feel more in your body.

Remember, eat a healthy diet prior to the big day to balance your hormones and your ability to focus. It’s both your mind and body that’ll aid you in delivering your message well.

Anna Joubert is a cannabis enthusiast and a digital marketer working with New Jersey Cannabis Information Portal. Her main goal is to help reduce the stigma around cannabis in the USA by educating people about the many uses of the plant. She is passionate about cannabinoid medicine and cannabis awareness.