How to Calm Pre-Presentation Nerves

Although it may be daunting, DECA competition is a rewarding experience.

Presenting your DECA project or role-play to a judge can be nerve racking, but these six tips will keep your nerves in check:

1. Prepare

Having confidence is key and a great way to gain it is through preparation. Practice your presentation with your teacher, advisor or peers, and study as much as you can! Have the knowledge so you can answer whatever question the judge throws at you.

2. Smile

Smiling shows that you’re confident in your work as well as yourself. Smiling also allows your body to release endorphins, which make you feel less stressed and feel relaxed.

3. Use the Three “Audience Truths”

  • They believe you’re an expert, so don’t discourage this.
  • They want you to shine; they’re rooting for your success.
  • They don’t know when you make a mistake, so don’t draw attention to it.

These three truths may not always be so true however using them will help you, whether it be a speech or a presentation.

4. Take deep breaths

Stuck or in a rut during your presentation? Just take a deep breath and continue. A deep breath can lower your heart rate, relieving some of the nerves just from your heart palpitating.

5. Work on “Um” or “Like”

Every time you say “like” or “um”, it adds to the anxious feeling which you already have. It can be very difficult to break these habits, however, a pause of silence is better than saying “um.” When you practice, focus on how many times you say each and try replacing them. An example would be by saying “for instance” rather than “like.”

6. Positive Thinking

Imagine yourself walking up on stage in Anaheim and being handed some #DECAglass. This is the kind of positive image which will instill a bit more confidence within you. Imagining a scenario in which everything goes perfectly and striving for it is key!

Now you’re ready to rock your role-play or own your project! Although last minute nerves are inevitable, you can do your best to fight them and get a ticket to Anaheim!

SMC_Zachary_MannThis article was written by Ben Barber Career Tech Academy DECA member, Zachary Mann. You can follow Zachary on Twitter @deca_zachmann.

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