How to Beat Anxiety During Presentations

According to The Washington Post, over 25% of Americans report a fear of public speaking. Even for experienced presenters, standing in front of an audience can bring on a wave of anxiety. Joseph Grenny, a leading social scientist, recounts that even after giving thousands of presentations on business performance, he still experienced stress.

Grenny shared in the Harvard Business Review the root of his anxiety. “I discovered that much of my stress was more about my motive than the event. I would fret and stew more about what I imagined people would think of me than whether I would effectively serve them,” says Grenny. By focusing on something out of his control (other people’s perceptions), he brought up rather than diffused fears.

Based on his professional experience, Joseph Grenny suggests that presenters tackle their fears by getting at the heart of their stress. Did you have negative experiences that created longstanding tension around presentations? Are you worried about how people view you rather than your what you’re offering?

A recent infographic from Stanford Graduate School of Business also dives into stress management techniques, providing three distinct paths based on the source of your anxiety: the situation, the audience, or the goal you would like to achieve. Check out their stress-management suggestions before you tackle your next presentation.