You hear your name called out and your heart starts racing. You look down at your palms and they are sweatier than ever. The time has come for you to give your presentation. As you walk up to the podium, you think to yourself, "If only I had prepared more!". Well here is your chance to practice and improve your public speaking skills so that the next time it's your turn to face the crowd you can slay the day instead of hoping for better times.
1. Prepare your presentation beforehand
While this may seem obvious to some, many people rely on the "wing it" mentality to present their material. However, you will probably feel more comfortable and confident if you know exactly what you are going to say and in what order. If you don't plan it out beforehand, you may forget important information or not communicate your point as successfully to your audience. Write an outline or at least some notes to save yourself some stress!
2. Practice and then practice again.
Practice in front of the mirror, in the car and with anyone who will listen. You can videotape yourself on your computer to improve your mannerisms and posture as well.
3. Practice in a Similar Situation
Once you've got the content of what you are going to present down, practice in a similar setting to the one you will be presenting in. Get yourself a sit to stand desk or at least a desk topper to practice with the height of a podium. Walk around as you usually do during a presentation and practice looking in the direction of the audience often.
4. Get a good night sleep
You want to be alert so that you can execute your presentation to the best of your abilities. The last thing someone in the audience wants to see is you yawning during your presentation, so go to sleep early the night before.