IMCP: Dealing with Presentation Jitters

Dr. Randall Hansen's Integrated Marketing Communications Program (IMCP)

Feeling nervous as presentation time nears? You're far from alone. The truth is, a little fear is good for your presentation -- it gives you a little edge because adrenaline builds your awareness, concentration, and performance. The trick is to balance nerves with confidence. The following tips should help.

How to Deal with Presentation Jitters


The more comfortable you are with your material, the more confident you will feel.

Think Positive Thoughts

Tell yourself, "I'm going to do a good job."

Give Yourself a "Home Court Advantage"

Take the time to get used to the space you are going to present in. Sit in the chairs, walk around the room, try the equipment. In general, get used to the space.

Eat and Drink for Calm

Plan to eat lightly on the day of the presentation and to avoid excess caffeine and dairy products.

Remember: You Never Look as Nervous as You Feel

A small case of nerves does not show. As comedian Steve Allen puts it, "You would have to turn pale, pass out and fall into the orchestra pit before anyone would remember the incident a week later."

Arrive Early

Come at least an hour before the presentation. This time allows you to decorate, make sure chairs are arranged, set up refreshments and grow accustomed to the space you will present in.

Check Equipment

Make sure everything works.

Have back-up materials to deal with equipment failures!

Interact With Clients as They Arrive

Mingle with clients to make them feel at home as they wait for the presentation to begin. Tell them you are glad they have come, show them to their seats. Possible conversation topics: visits you have made to their Website, research you have done about their industry, anything you are especially interested in or enjoyed related to their project, any common ground you find.

Interact With Clients Again After the Presentation

Thank them for coming, comment upon their questions, answer any others that come up one-on-one.

Clean Up

Leave the room in better condition than you entered it.

Congratulate Yourself on a Job Well Done!

Go back to Dr. Randall Hansen's Integrated Marketing Communications Program (IMCP)