In previous blogs I discussed four sources of the fear that many have regarding presentations: first, a negative, repetitive pattern from the past, such as a parent putting you down; second, a traumatic experience, such as fellow classmates laughing at you because you stuttered; third, personal insecurities; and fourth, being shy or from a culture that does not value eye contact.
The last source of presentation anxiety that I have discovered in clients and students comes from procrastination. Perhaps you feel it’s “a pain” to write out what you’re going to say or you’re super busy and figure you’ll get to it eventually. What ends up happening is you have put yourself in panic mode.
The emotional side of the brain likes easy, fun, new and no stress; it doesn’t like hard and stressful, especially at the last minute. This creates a strong sense of uncertainty and a threat to your status if you think you might not pull it off.
The best advice is to start early—two weeks ahead if possible. Draw a mind map for yourself that contains your thesis statement, purpose, and main points. From there, spend a few minutes each day developing your subpoints and collecting support information. Allow sufficient time to learn the material and rehearse, standing up with aids.
It only make sense if you start early you will be more relaxed, organized and able to have fun! And your brain will thank you! If all else fails, go to my site under “learning resources” and purchase the fill-in-the-blanks informative speech and/or persuasive speech template.
Future blogs will deal with physical and mental methods of reducing the anxiety.