Public Speaking

One Way to Calm Down Before a Presentation

Former Managing Editor
5 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The sweaty palms, the shaky hands, the dry throat – for many people, a big presentation can bring on a slew of confidence-destroying conditions.

While there's no universal strategy for calming down, one simple piece of advice is to take a few deep breaths and get a good look at your audience before you launch into your presentation.

"Whether I'm in front of a group of 20 or 200, I stop and I pause and I look at the entire room. And I take that moment to just soak it all in before I open my mouth," says Jacqueline Whitmore, etiquette coach and founder of The Protocol School of Palm Beach.

Related: When Giving a Presentation, Don't Do This

The very idea of looking out at the audience may send some people into a panic, but Whitmore says it can mentally prepare you for your speech and send a message of confidence without you having to say a word. "Within five to seven seconds, [the audience is] already making a first impression or summarizing what they think of us. And so it's important to exude that confidence as soon as you walk out on that stage."

Check out the video for more, including advice on what to do if you make a mistake.

Tell Us: What's your best tip for calming down before a presentation? Let us know in the comments below.

Related: 6 Things You Should Never Say During a Speech

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