To ask how to sound calm and collected at the beginning of a presentation

(10 Posts)
MinnieSmithers Thu 02-Jun-16 16:39:02

I often have to do presentations and short speeches at work and I'm fine with this as I know my subject well. But its the first 30 seconds or so that the nerves seem to kick in somehow and my voice sounds wrong - sort of strangled, then I'm fine.

I think this makes me seem unprofessional and I don't know how to address it as I generally don't feel that nervous so don't know why my voice thinks I am.

AIBU to ask if anyone has any solutions?

ApocalypseSlough Thu 02-Jun-16 16:41:23

Breathe, pause and speak as slowly as you dare.

WiseToTheLies Thu 02-Jun-16 16:41:47

I don't know but I wanted to sympathise.

I have the exact opposite. I'm fine for the first five minutes and then I start to stammer, shake and get brain fog. I don't know why I suddenly get nervous half way through.

I'm assuming that you do all the right things beforehand such as not having any dairy/tea/coffee and sipping water (with honey). Practice deep-breathing etc.

ScarletBegonia1234 Thu 02-Jun-16 16:43:29

I generally take the first 30 seconds to introduce myself, my job title and a little about my role/how long I've worked here etc; even if it's not massively necessary. Then by the time I do my first slide I'm in the rhythm!

MadamDeathstare Thu 02-Jun-16 16:43:52

Take a drink of water before you start talking, and smile to relax your facial muscles. Maybe have someone nearby you can talk to so you can segue into your presentation without having to look around the room and feel like you are on a stage.

It also helps if you can remember your name. I stood up and introduced myself to the assembled hordes with the wrong name. As the name I used belonged to a lady they all knew, who was also in the room, there was much confusion, obviously mostly on my part. It certainly got the presentation off to a memorable start though.

If you start with a joke make sure you know your audience. A senior colleague once opened his presentation at a conference with 'Helloooo fellow polluters!'. Followed by a frosty silence on the part of the audience.

myownprivateidaho Thu 02-Jun-16 16:43:55

I try to "practice" by regularly visualising myself going up to speak in the room where it's going to be. I try to make the imagining really vivid and repeat it regularly (usually in bed at night when I'm going to sleep). I think it really helps if you've "done it" in your head beforehand. Sometimes I even feel nervous when I imagine it - but then after a few times that stops. The other thing I do because I saw it in a ted talk is try to spread out physically beforehand. Apparently if you stand in a star shape for 60 seconds shortly before a talk or whatever you feel way more confident! By the same token no scrinching up your body shortly beforehand. Good luck!

StealthPolarBear Thu 02-Jun-16 16:45:05

Why no dairy?

YellowShockedFace Thu 02-Jun-16 16:47:41

m.youtube.com/watch?v=Ks-_Mh1QhMc
This lady has done a few Ted talks on confidence, public speaking and body language. That might help.

CMOTDibbler Thu 02-Jun-16 17:00:08

I always stand up, look round, breathe, and smile. And then start talking. Somehow, the act of smiling relaxes you, and puts you in a good place

WiseToTheLies Thu 02-Jun-16 17:15:17

StealthPolarBear

Dairy can clag up the throat and cause mucus (only in some people though).

tea and coffee make you jittery and make your mouth dry.

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