In the many workshops on public speaking and on making presentations that I have attended, many participants when asked about their worries usually produce a very similar list of factors. The top 7, in no particular order, are listed here with some suggestions of overcoming them.
1) Butterflies in the Stomach
Nervousness is I think the number 1 nightmare when making presentations. This topic has been written and discussed countless of times. Instead of discussing it further let me suggest a few ways which can help alleviate the butterflies.
a) take some deep breaths before you start (nerves tend to make you breathe more shallowly and starve you of oxygen), and remember to breathe as you go along
b) take a sip of water before you start
c) do not eat a heavy meal before a presentation
d) do not eat nothing (or rumbles may join the butterflies)
f) alcohol do not help. Don’t drink it before a presentation
2.) Having a Dry Mouth
This symptom is easily cured. Never attempt to speak without a glass of water in front of you. Even if you do not touch it, knowing it is there is a comfort.
Many do not know what to do with their hands during a presentation. The best solution is to give them something to do – hold the lectern or a pencil, make the occasional gesture – then forget about them. Thinking about them as you proceed with your presentation make matters worse.
4) The volume of your voice
Many people state that the do not know how loud to speak. The solution is, just imagine you are speaking to the farthest person in the room (if they were the only one there you would have little problem judging it), better still, try before hand
5) Hostile Reaction
In most instances, everyone including the audience wants the presentation to go well. They are disposed to be on your side. The only thing worse than standing on the platform knowing that you are not presenting well is being in the audience: think about it
6) Not having sufficient material
This nightmare can be completely eradicated if your presentation is well prepared. When you prepare, prepare and then rehearse and rehearse, you will know if you have the right amount of information
7) Misjudging the timing
Many people are afraid that they are going to o fast or too slow. They are also afraid if they do not cover enough during the presentation. That is where research and preparation comes in. Speaker notes may be useful in this instance.