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Big Presentation at Work? Here’s How to Make It Less Stressful

We have expert advice to help ensure your next big work presentation ends up a success.

Does public speaking make you queasy? If so, you’re not alone. According to Mark Twain, “There are two types of speakers. Those who get nervous and those who are liars.” So, on the eve of a big presentation at work, what can you do to ease some of that stress? Glad you asked! Here are some time-tested, science-backed solutions to banish some of the anxiety so you can focus on getting the job done.

Tips For Public Speaking

Be Prepared

People who plan ahead usually don’t experience a lot of stress. According to Craig N. Sawchuk, Ph.D, at the Mayo Clinic, you should, “Practice your complete presentation several times. Do it for some people you're comfortable with and ask for feedback.”

The key is to know your subject matter and what you plan on saying so well that there should be very little stress coming from what you’re presenting. Sawchuk went on to suggest that you can even consider taking a video of yourself presenting so you can watch it and find opportunities for improvement. Have a script of what you plan on saying, but don’t rely on that. Instead, know what you’re going to say and imagine you’re having a conversation about the subject with your audience.

Kick an Upset Stomach to the Curb

Stress can cause us to swallow more air, which can cause pressure, bloating, and discomfort, but Gas-X Extra Strength Softgels can relieve all of that fast (when used as directed). If your presentation falls after lunch, you may end up having gas or discomfort from your meal. If that’s the case, Gas-X can be a useful weapon in your arsenal, as it can relieve gas quickly, and is the number one doctor-recommended brand for gas relief.

Dress the Part

Another tested solution to beat stress from public speaking is to dress for success. If you decide to wear an outfit that you’re uncomfortable in, don’t be surprised if you feel a little more uneasy when you’re about to speak to a large group than you had anticipated. According to research published by Professor Karen Pine at the University of Hertfordshire, “Clothing doesn't just influence others, it reflects and influences the wearer's mood, too.” When you’re in an outfit that makes you feel confident on the inside, you’ll be more confident on the outside. In addition, when you’re dressed to look your best and give off that confidence, your audience will be more attentive.

Use the Audience to Your Advantage

All of these are great ways to help minimize some of your stress before you begin, but if you want to limit your anxiety once you’ve started, there are some wise strategies to keep in mind. According to Kathleen H. Staley, Ph.D., with the University Counseling Service at the University of Iowa, you should “interpret anxiety symptoms as excitement” and “engage the audience,” focusing on friendly faces for positive reinforcement. You should also remember that your audience being focused on you and your words isn’t a bad thing at all. They want to hear from you, which means you’re providing them with the information they need, so think less about you and more about how what you say can serve them.