Home » 14 Fast Ways For How to Calm Down Before a Presentation
Apr,2024

14 Fast Ways For How to Calm Down Before a Presentation

Are pre-presentation jitters making you feel frazzled? Does the thought of giving a speech in front of an audience make you anxious? If you’re like the majority of the population, the answer is probably yes.

In fact, public speaking is one of the #1 fears of most people… But dont worry, there’s hope to overcome this (or at least, calm your nerves)!

Luckily, there are numerous strategies you can use when learning how to calm calm down before a presentation, soothe your nerves and cultivate a sense of calm before taking the stage.

From practical preparation tips to mindset shifts and physical strategies, the path to a stress-free presentation starts with simple yet effective calming techniques.

By exploring these methods, you can navigate the world of public speaking with ease and confidence, ensuring that your next presentation is a success.

Here are 14 ways for how to calm down before a presentation: 

  1. Prepare Ahead of Time
  2. Practice, Practice, Practice
  3. Use Visualization to Imagine Success
  4. Repeat Positive Affirmations
  5. Strike a Power Pose
  6. Practice Breathing Exercises
  7. Prioritize Self-Care
  8. Do a Venue Walk-Through
  9. Get Physical
  10. Stay Hydrated
  11. Talk to a Loved One
  12. Listen to Calming Music
  13. Get Grounded
  14. Focus on Your Message

#1 – Prepare Ahead of Time

Knowing how to prepare for a speech, and rehearsing multiple times before the real event, can help you feel confident and calm on stage. 

Additionally, preparing for any technical difficulties is also important in case issues arise. Having technical backups in place, such as extra batteries or a backup USB drive, provides a sense of security and preparedness in case of any unforeseen issues. 

#2 – Practice, Practice, Practice

Familiarize yourself with your speech content by practicing it repeatedly. The more comfortable you are with the material, the more confident you’ll feel when delivering it. 

Giving a high-stakes presentation, delivering a speech in front of an audience, or engaging in any other kind of public speaking opportunity, can be scary. You may feel a loss of control or uncertainty – imaging worse-case scenarios, or have a fear of being judged. 

To combat this, it’s essential that you regain your sense of control by doing what you can to rehearse as much as possible. Then, when the real presentation happens, it’ll feel like just another rehearsal!

#3 – Use Visualization to Imagine Success

Take a few moments to visualize yourself giving a successful speech. Imagine yourself speaking confidently, engaging the audience, and receiving positive feedback. 

Visualization exercises can help build your confidence and reduce anxiety, so that you can calm down before the presentation. 

Visualization engages multiple cognitive processes simultaneously, enhancing comprehension and retention. By creating mental images of your success, you can activate your brain’s sensory areas and mimic positive feelings before your presentation.

Boost your confidence and mental attitude before a presentation by recalling past successful presentations and emphasizing the value you offer to the audience.

#4 – Repeat Positive Affirmations

Repeat positive affirmations to yourself to boost your confidence and calm your nerves. Remind yourself of your strengths, past successes, and capabilities as a speaker. 

Affirmations can help shift your mindset from one of anxiety to one of confidence and self-assurance.

Some positive affirmations you can try out are:

  • I am well-prepared and knowledgeable about my topic.
  • I am confident in my abilities to deliver this presentation effectively.
  • My audience is interested in what I have to say, and I will engage them with my words.
  • I am calm, composed, and in control of my nerves.
  • I believe in myself and my message, and I convey it with passion and authenticity.
  • I am grateful for the opportunity to share my ideas and inspire others.
  • I trust in my ability to handle any questions or challenges that may arise during the presentation.
  • I radiate enthusiasm and positivity, which captivates my audience.
  • Each word I speak is delivered with clarity, impact, and conviction.
  • I embrace any feedback as an opportunity for growth and improvement.

#5 – Strike a Power Pose

A quick hack for how to calm down before a presentation is to strike a power pose. This can help you to exude confidence and authority, helping you feel more in control. 

Never heard of the power pose? It’s basically like channeling your inner superhero before diving into something daunting, like a big presentation or a nerve-wracking interview. Think standing tall, hands on hips, chest out – the whole superhero vibe.

Here are a few examples:

  • The Superman/Superwoman: Feet shoulder-width apart, hands on hips, chin up.
  • The Wonder Woman: Legs slightly apart, arms crossed in front of chest.
  • The Victory V: Feet hip-width apart, arms raised in a V shape overhead, with a big smile.
  • The CEO: Lean back in your chair, hands behind your head, legs crossed comfortably.

These poses aren’t just for show; they’re proven to boost confidence and presence. So, next time you’re feeling a bit shaky, strike a power pose and watch your confidence soar!

#6 – Practice Breathing Exercises

Breathing exercises can also aid in reducing anxiety and promoting relaxation.

When you’re feeling those pre-presentation jitters, your body tends to tense up, and your breathing can become shallow and rapid. This can exacerbate feelings of anxiety and make it harder to focus.

However, engaging in intentional diaphramatic breathing exercises can help calm your nervous system, reduce stress, and bring a sense of relaxation.

You can also try certain voice exercises for speakers to strengthen your voice, and avoid any shakiness as you deliver your speech.

Here are some breathing exercises to help you calm down before a presentation:

  • Deep Breathing: Deep breathing, also known as diaphragmatic or belly breathing, involves taking slow, deep breaths that fully expand your lungs and engage your diaphragm. This activates the body’s relaxation response, lowering heart rate and blood pressure.
  • 4-7-8 Breathing: Inhale through your nose for a count of 4, hold your breath for a count of 7, then exhale slowly through your mouth for a count of 8. This technique helps regulate breathing and induces a state of calm.
  • Box Breathing: Inhale deeply for a count of 4, hold your breath for 4 counts, exhale for 4 counts, and then hold your breath again for 4 counts before repeating the cycle. This method encourages rhythmic breathing and can quickly reduce feelings of anxiety.
  • Alternate Nostril Breathing: Close one nostril with your thumb and inhale deeply through the other nostril. Then, close the other nostril with your ring finger and exhale through the first nostril. Repeat this process, alternating nostrils with each breath. This technique balances energy and promotes relaxation.

These breathing exercises can be done discreetly anytime, anywhere, and incorporating them into your routine before a presentation or nerve-wracking event can significantly reduce anxiety and improve your performance. 

#7 – Prioritize Self-Care

Before your presentation, it’s important to prioritize self-care practices. This includes things like getting enough rest, eating well, and staying hydrated to support your overall well-being.

Tip: Limit your intake of caffeine before the presentation, as it can increase feelings of anxiety and nervousness.

#8 – Do a Venue Walk-Through Beforehand (If Possible)

A venue walkthrough allows you to familiarize yourself with the presentation space, reducing potential last-minute stressors.

If time allows, try to schedule a venue walk-through a few days before the event. If time or the situation doesn’t permit this, try to arrive to your speaking event early on the day of. 

If you’re not able to schedule a physical walk-through, try doing an internet search for your venue, so you can watch any videos or observe any photos of what the space might look like.

As you do your walk-through, take note of the following:

  • Layout and Seating Arrangement: Observe the layout of the room and the seating arrangement. Determine where you’ll be positioned during your presentation and how the audience will be seated.
  • Lighting and Visibility: Assess the lighting in the room to ensure that you’ll be clearly visible to the audience. Check for any glare or shadows that could affect visibility, especially how it could effect your Powerpoint or Keynote slides.
  • Stage or Speaking Area: Familiarize yourself with the stage or speaking area, including any podium or lectern, as well as the positioning of chairs or tables.
  • Room Temperature: Take note of the room temperature and adjust it if necessary to ensure comfort for both yourself and the audience.
  • Emergency Exits: Locate the emergency exits and familiarize yourself with the evacuation procedures in case of an emergency.
  • Amenities: Identify the location of amenities such as restrooms, water fountains, and any designated areas for breaks or networking.

#9 – Get Physical

Before your presentation, engaging in physical activities like a brisk walk or quick workout can help release tension and boost endorphins, contributing to a sense of calmness and readiness. 

Additionally, incorporating muscle relaxation techniques, such as stretching or yoga, can help alleviate physical tension before presenting.

Try moving along to this video, which includes yoga poses specifically for calming nerves.

#10 – Stay Hydrated

It’s crucial to prioritize water intake to prevent dry mouth caused by nerves, ensuring optimal vocal performance.

Drinking something hydrating can also help you calm your pre-presentation jitters – so make sure to have a water bottle handy on the day of your presentation!

Remember to avoid consuming caffeine or energy drinks right before the presentation to prevent potential jitters or heightened nervousness.

#11 – Talk to a Loved One

Seek support from your friends, family, or colleagues to boost your confidence and provide encouragement. Having a strong support system can make a significant difference in how you feel before presenting.

By getting support from people you love, you’ll feel less alone and more confident, by boosting your feelings of belonging and having a sense of community. 

#12 – Listen to Calming Music

Listening to calming music can also help relax your mind and body before stepping on stage. 

This is one of the best hacks for how to calm down before a presentation, especially if it’s right before you present. Try listening to calming music right before you go on stage.


Calming music can help by triggering physiological responses in your body that promote relaxation. Slow-tempo music with soft melodies and gentle rhythms can lower heart rate, reduce cortisol levels (the stress hormone), and promote deeper breathing, all of which contribute to a sense of calmness and tranquility.

Additionally, music has the power to distract your mind from anxious thoughts, allowing you to focus on the soothing sounds and creating a more peaceful mental state.

Here’s a calming music playlist you can save for later.

The most calming genres to listen to to calm down before a presentation include:

  • Ambient
  • Classical
  • Jazz
  • Acoustic
  • Nature sounds (such as ocean waves, rain, or bird songs)

#13 – Get Grounded

A grounding technique is a mindfulness practice that can help you stay present and centered before your presentation. It involves engaging the senses to focus attention on the physical environment, which can help alleviate feelings of anxiety or nervousness.

By anchoring yourself in the present moment, you can calm nerves before a presentation by reducing the focus on fear of the future.

During a grounding exercise, you may be guided to:

  • Focus on your breath, paying attention to the sensations of inhaling and exhaling.
  • Notice your surroundings, identifying specific objects you can see, touch, hear, or smell.
  • Engage in physical movements, such as tapping your fingers or gently stretching.
  • Use visualization techniques, such as imagining yourself in a peaceful or comforting place, to evoke feelings of calmness and tranquility.

#14 – Focus on the Big Picture

Sometimes we can get tunnel vision when our fear and anxiety take over. Before a presentation, when you find your mind and body wandering and feeling stressed about the upcoming presentation, remind yourself of the big picture. Remember why you are doing this. 

It’s also helpful to shift your focus away from yourself and onto the audience. Remember that they are there to listen to your message and are likely supportive of your efforts. Focus on delivering value to your audience and meeting their needs rather than worrying about your own performance.

Conclusion

Learning how to calm down before a presentation will help you focus on the moment, focus on the moment, and feel accomplished. 

Remember, calming your nerves before a presentation is all about preparation, mindset, and taking care of yourself physically.

By rehearsing, staying positive, and utilizing these coping strategies, you can boost your confidence and feel more at ease.

With these techniques, you’ll be ready to tackle any presentation with confidence and composure.

You got this! 

Author

Angelica
Angelica is a multi-passionate creative who loves dabbling in a little bit of this and that. She's always chasing her curiosities, whether that means jetting off to explore somewhere new or diving into a new technology she's eager to learn.

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