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How can I be more confident?

I am majoring in architecture for college and I know that there will be many presentations that I will be giving. I am naturally a shy person but I still know exactly what I'm doing. However, when I am presenting I start forgetting what I have to say. #architecture #college


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Terhan’s Answer

It's awesome that you want to grow you communication skills. I'm an introvert so I can easily lose my train of thought by overthinking. I have learned 3 things recently to help me with presentations. 1. Organize your thoughts 2. Practice in front of people as much as possible 3. Be succinct by keeping it simple.

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sherry’s Answer

Ensure your presentation follows the basic outline of intro, key messages, close and reinforce key takeaways. Focus on images and headlines to help you tell the story.

Develop a talk script in your own 'voice' to convey to explain your key messages and take aways

Practice practice practice and time yourself to ensure you can complete the presentation and take questions.

Be yourself. Get comfortable with your style whilst also showing your passion for the topic.

Ensure your content connects with the intended audience i.e. stay away from jargon and don't get lost in details that detract from your key messages.

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Nadia’s Answer

Great advices!
Good news is that it's possible to get used to presentations and also
1. Watch different presentations on YouTube. What do like in presenter's style? What don't? What is the type of audience, how the presenter adjusts their presentation to the audience?
2. Try to copy your favorite parts from above into your presentations.
3. Think upfront about questions and try to answer them in your presentation rather than waiting for people to ask them. But...
4. Don't overthink and overanalyze and prepare every single step, as in case of any unexpected events, you won't know what to do. Also, it doesn't look natural.
5. When you're presenting, imagine that you're in a really comfortable situation. Smile to your audience and try to speak like you do with people that you know. Of course, still in a business manner :)
6. Think reasonable - you will survive and most probably your audience will be more focused on a product or service :)

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Angela D.’s Answer

Hey there! I echo the previous advice givers...practice is essential! So is preparation. I can share some tips on that. Dress for success, in clothing that is comfortable, yet appropriate for the presentation/audience. Bring a sweater or jacket so you don't get cold and take it off if you feel warm. Don't wear new shoes! Bring bottled water and tissues. You can also use a sip of water as a way to gain a little time to gather your thoughts in a socially acceptable way. If you are like me, my throat can dry up with large audiences...so I eat a tictac mint beforehand! Be sure you have more than enough handouts if needed, old fashioned pen and paper, and a tablet/laptop if necessary. Turn your phone off, but you can use it on mute to take notes as a last resort. Have backups for electronic presentations, such as a USB drive, the cloud, and email the presentation to yourself. PowerPoint handouts can also save the day if the internet is down or other IT issues come up and reserve one for yourself just in case. Arrive early to scope out the room, seating, get set up, use the restroom and check on your appearance one last time. Look in the mirror and say to yourself..."I CAN do it!" At the beginning of your talk, introduce yourself, even if you know everyone...after all, it's a presentation. You can always say "I'd like to (re-)introduce myself...and I will be presenting today on the topic of...." Leave time for questions during natural pauses or ask the audience to hold questions until the end. If you don't know the answer, a good response is something like "That's a really good question. I will check into it and get back to you shortly. Much appreciated." And then make sure that you DO get back to the person and CC the rest of the audience, if possible. Watch your eye gaze, pick two people on opposite sides of the conference table/room to look at, because when you look between the two it appears that you're including the audience in between. This kind of preparation will make you feel more confident and proactive. I was somewhat shy when I was younger, but I've been a teacher and professor for years and this will become easier and easier over time! You've already mentioned that you know what you're doing, so trust and believe in yourself! Wishing you the best in your endeavors, Dr. B
P.S. When you're all done, take some time to be proud of your strengths...and don't over-analyze any stretches!

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Ben’s Answer

Great question! Three things that have always helped me:
1) Practice & Prepare - even if you know what you're doing, you can always rehearse your key points and improve your fundamentals. Have a friend or family member watch you practice. Record yourself and take notes based on what you see. Watch speeches you enjoy and try to leverage some of what's working in those situations for your content. But you can never prepare too much...
2) Find your style - its much easier to present confidently if you are proud of your slides/content, and if they are organized in a way that is true to your personality. For example, I'm a visual storyteller. In nearly all my presentations I use images, videos, quotes, charts, etc that tell a story on their own (making it easier for you to explain to your audience) or that evoke an emotion from the audience (grasping their attention and making your content memorable). Don't present based on how others have before you, do it in a way that feels true to you.
3) Lastly, know your audience - whatever you are presenting, whoever you are presenting to, ensure that it is relevant and easy to understand. This is the thing most of us forget to do. You are presenting to yourself, you are presenting to others. They are listening to you for a reason - make sure you reward that trust and their time with content that will matter to them.
Best of luck!

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Elwira’s Answer

Hi Jenny!
I echo all amazing advice givers. Additionally see below my recommendations that worked for me :-)
BEFORE:
POLISH YOUR PRESENTATION:
1. Know your subject and be prepared.
2. Prepare presentation which will be not heavy and full of text but visuals/ videos instead. That will support your presentation.
3 Think about the stories that will support and illustrate the point you want to make.
4. Practice presentation in the front of mirror or with little "friendly" audience and remember to get their live feedback.

POLISH YOUR PRESENTATION SKILLS:
1. Take voice lessons to be able to vary and adjust the tone of your voice to the specific part of your presentations That would help you to gain attention and interest.
2. Learn about the power of your body language. Practice the confident poses. There are plenty of courses on Udemy that you can go through.
3. Take an acting lessons to practice your body language and how to move, stand and read your room to adjust and keep audience engaged.

WHILE PRESENTING REMEMBER TO:
1. Start presentation with the ice breaker that will help you and the audience to energize and get know each other better. That would help you to build up the informal atmosphere and all the stress would go away!
2. Engage with the audience: Prepare the personal story, joke and share with audience to build the relation.
3. Don't panic if you forget to say something or you missed out on anything as people don't know what you supposed to say in details!
4. Use short sentences and remember to breath. Don't talk too fast.
5. Remember to modulate your voice, whisper and speak out to make your presentation more attractive and keep people engaged.
6. Mind your body language and use the confident poses.
7. Keep eye contact with the audience and don't read slides as in that way you will lose people and energy in the room!
8. Read your audience! If you see energy is low and the audience is disengaged just do some energizer/ group exercise to get them back.
8. Be yourself don't pretend to be someone else as people will catch that quickly and you will lose your credibility.

Hope you find that helpful!
Let me know how it goes once you use my advices :-)
Good luck!



Elwira recommends the following next steps:

1. Take voice lessons to be able to vary and adjust the tone of your voice to the specific part of your presentations That would help you to gain attention and interest
2. Learn about the power of your body language. Practice the confident poses. There are plenty of courses on Udemy that you can go through.
3. Take an acting lessons to practice your body language and how to move, stand and read your room to adjust and keep audience engaged.
4. Take the courses on Udemy about building attractive presentations, story telling and presentation skills.

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Padmapriya’s Answer

Hi Jenny,

Great question.

Things you can do to boost self-confidence

Visualize yourself as you want to be.
Affirm yourself.
Question your inner critic.
Help someone else.
Care for yourself.
Talk to yourself.
Be Positive.
Raise your curiosity levels.
Face your fears.
Groom yourself.
Set small goals and achieve it.
Smile.
Volunteer.
Be Grateful.
Empower yourself with knowledge.

Coming to the presentation tips,

Start with an Ice breaker to keep the audience engaged.
Show your passion and connect with your audience.
Focus on your audience's needs.
Keep it Simple: Concentrate on your core message.
Smile and make eye contact with your audience.
Start strongly.
Tell stories.
Use your voice effectively.

Take a deep breath when you are nervous.

Hope this helps.

Best of Luck!!



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Sydnie’s Answer

Hi Jenny! I have been in your boat. My advice is to be 100% prepared! Not only in your presentation and notes, but prepare for any worst case scenario's such as being late (plan to get there early), technology not working (dry run your set up a day in advance), dry mouth (have water), shaky legs (maybe have a chair to lean against) and take time to get mentally prepared. Have a mental pep talk. Mine goes likes this... "This is just one presentation in your whole life. It is 30 minutes of your life, you got this! You know what you are talking about and you are passionate about it. Remember, the worst thing that can happen is.... you stumble, oh no, you just start again. Everyone in the room has been in the same place as you and remember that you are harder on yourself then anyone else. Go out there, deliver a confident presentation that you would love to hear"

Then you slap a smile on your face and start. If you aren't looking forward to the presentation, it tells your body to be extra nervous. Look at presentations as challenges that excite you.

Tell yourself - I am Excited!! and go out there and crush those presentations!

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Elwira’s Answer

Hi Jenny!
I echo all amazing advice givers. Additionally see below my recommendations that worked for me :-)
BEFORE:
POLISH YOUR PRESENTATION:
1. Know your subject and be prepared.
2. Prepare presentation which will be not heavy and full of text but visuals/ videos instead. That will support your presentation.
3 Think about the stories that will support and illustrate the point you want to make.
4. Practice presentation in the front of mirror or with little "friendly" audience and remember to get their live feedback.

POLISH YOUR PRESENTATION SKILLS:
1. Take voice lessons to be able to vary and adjust the tone of your voice to the specific part of your presentations That would help you to gain attention and interest.
2. Learn about the power of your body language. Practice the confident poses. There are plenty of courses on Udemy that you can go through.
3. Take an acting lessons to practice your body language and how to move, stand and read your room to adjust and keep audience engaged.

WHILE PRESENTING REMEMBER TO:
1. Start presentation with the ice breaker that will help you and the audience to energize and get know each other better. That would help you to build up the informal atmosphere and all the stress would go away!
2. Engage with the audience: Prepare the personal story, joke and share with audience to build the relation.
3. Don't panic if you forget to say something or you missed out on anything as people don't know what you supposed to say in details!
4. Use short sentences and remember to breath. Don't talk too fast.
5. Remember to modulate your voice, whisper and speak out to make your presentation more attractive and keep people engaged.
6. Mind your body language and use the confident poses.
7. Keep eye contact with the audience and don't read slides as in that way you will lose people and energy in the room!
8. Read your audience! If you see energy is low and the audience is disengaged just do some energizer/ group exercise to get them back.
8. Be yourself don't pretend to be someone else as people will catch that quickly and you will lose your credibility.

Hope you find that helpful!
Let me know how it goes once you use my advices :-)
Good luck!



Elwira recommends the following next steps:

1. Take voice lessons to be able to vary and adjust the tone of your voice to the specific part of your presentations That would help you to gain attention and interest
2. Learn about the power of your body language. Practice the confident poses. There are plenty of courses on Udemy that you can go through.
3. Take an acting lessons to practice your body language and how to move, stand and read your room to adjust and keep audience engaged.
4. Take the courses on Udemy about building attractive presentations, story telling and presentation skills.

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Craig’s Answer

You have received a lot of tips on this question. I'm even going to borrow some of them. What I would add is this:

1. Before your presentation - when you start to feel the nerves coming on, close your eyes and breathe, deeply, in through the nose and out through the mouth. Do this at least 3-5 times
2. Pay attention to your thinking. What messages dominate? Become aware of them. With awareness comes choice. Shift your thinking. You will then shift your mood and feelings.

These two steps have helped me immensely, during preparations, right before I get started with presentations, and while I'm presenting.


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Xavier’s Answer

Practice, practice, practice! I cannot stress this enough. Making sure you know what you need to present like the back of your hands helps a lot when you are trying to beat nervousness during a presentation. Also practice the presentation with a friend. Let them ask you questions (dealing with the topic) where you have to think on your feet to explain.

You can also make a small notecard that has your main topics on it, just in case you lose you train of thought. If slide shows are allowed, I would recommend using one (with limited amount of information on each slide).During the presentation, only speak on things that you are sure about. If you don't know, it's okay to that you don't, but you will look into it.

But again, practicing out loud will help a lot. When I was in college, there were tutors who help with preparing for presentations, so I would look into that as well.

Hope this helps! Believe in yourself !

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Kei’s Answer

Hi Jenny.

Presenting in front of an audience can be overwhelming. I experienced this myself and here are some of the tips I can share to overcome this.

1. Preparation is key. Plan ahead. Work on your slides and make sure that every slide is backed up by data if needed.
2. Practice. To overcome my "nervousness" I practice my presentation in front of a mirror and I even go out of my way to present my slides to my family (as long as the information is not confidential in nature) and ask for their feedback on what I need to keep and what I need to improve on
3. Get tips online. Toastmasters can be a good session. There are several others online that can be a good resource.
4. Use bullet points in your preso and utilize the "click to add notes" portion in Powerpoint and put clues for you not to forget your talking points
5. Keep your audience engaged. Ask questions, do drills or get their thoughts.

Hope that helps.

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Jonathan’s Answer

Hello,
As a Mechanical Engineering student I had gone through the same problem a few times no matter how many times I have presented in front of a class. My advice would be to think as if you were talking to a friend. Many times we tend to look at the professor when presenting and I believe this makes it worse because it makes us automatically think about our grade. Therefore, if you can find someone in class that you know look at them and pretend that the presentation is only for them. Another thing that you can do is to use your cellphone camera and record yourself talking about a certain topic of your interest at home and pretend there is an audience behind it. I believe that doing this will give you the confidence of talking and it will allow you to a have a reference that you can later look back to in order to find the areas where you can improve.

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Becky’s Answer

First of all, this is the most common fear on the planet. Most people get nervous speaking in public. The advice that helped me most was to practice. Find a topic that is dumb and you know how to do it...like making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Then video yourself explaining the steps for an audience. You can be informational, funny or technical. And then..here comes the hard part.. watch the video.

Once you do this a couple of times, you will start to visualize how others are viewing you and your presentation skills. You can tweak what you don't like and keep what works. Practice makes perfect on this one. :)

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Syed’s Answer

Hi Jenny,

I grew up in Woodside, NY! What a small world.

You can build up your confidence by prepping the night before and the morning of a presentation. Know your content thoroughly and memorize some talking points. Practice your presentation with a mentor and alone in front of the mirror. Record yourself so you can figure out the weak areas before you go for the real thing. Usually with college presentations, you have a good amount of time to prep beforehand.

If you want more advanced training on giving presentations, take a communications or public speaking course at your college that will push you out of your comfort zone. You can take it pass/fail so the grades aren’t a factor. You can also seek coaching from the school through the career office for example.

Lastly, find some famous speakers inside and outside your field that you look up to. Study their speaking style by watching YouTube videos. Try to emulate in your own presentations!

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Sendil’s Answer

I have been always good at what i'm doing. As I have given many topics at college to present in front of other members, which initially I was shy to talk. so I used to stand in front of the mirror and practice a lot, which helped me in building my confident.
In order to overcome the shyness, you should start reading news paper or books loudly which will help in future in terms of speak in front on the crowd.


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Haylee’s Answer

I majored in Architecture and gave those speeches you are talking about! The confidence you need comes from your work - if you are proud of your project and your passionate to share with other let that shine through. If your committed to doing the best in every project and you take a creative approach people will see that over your speech skills.

Haylee recommends the following next steps:

Love what you do
Be committed
Tell everyone about the awesome thing you did and why

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Aicha’s Answer

Hi Jenny!

I am a shy person as well, but what helps me specifically with presentations is just rehearsing them over and over until i feel as though I can remember everything without having to look at the slides as much. Also, don't compare your work to others just go in to the presentations with a mindset of this is my project and this is what I have to offer.

Good luck!

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Marcus’s Answer

Self Affirmations are always a great place to start when trying to build confidence. Confidence comes from within, so if you believe you are confident, you will be! Most importantly, believe in yourself. Smile, relax and let the class know how intelligent you are. Practice in your mirror and give your presentation as if you were in class. That way, when you get to class, it will be a smooth transition and be more natural for you due to all of the rehearsals you’ve done. The hard part is knowing your material, the easy part is being yourself. If you stumble, that’s ok! Regroup and keep pushing, and always remember you are awesome no matter what!

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sherry’s Answer

Ensure your presentation follows the basic outline of intro, key messages, close and reinforce key takeaways. Focus on images and headlines to help you tell the story.

Develop a talk script in your own 'voice' to convey to explain your key messages and take aways

Practice practice practice and time yourself to ensure you can complete the presentation and take questions.

Be yourself. Get comfortable with your style whilst also showing your passion for the topic.

Ensure your content connects with the intended audience i.e. stay away from jargon and don't get lost in details that detract from your key messages.

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Brett’s Answer

Hi. You might want to search for a local Toastmasters club in your area. These fun clubs give you real-time activities to help improve your confidence. Also, please remember that practice breeds confidence. Therefore, take time to present in front of the mirror several times. Then, try to present while just walking your dog, cleaning house, etc. Try to remember the main point and then you can fill in the supporting detail.

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Michelle’s Answer

Hi Jenny,

What always helps me is breaking the ice at first. I'm not sure how your presentations will be set up, but if you can start it with something that makes you laugh and feel at ease(a joke, ice breaker to get to know the people, fun fact, etc.), it'll help everything get started and go from there. If you start to feel less confident when giving the speech, it is totally okay to just pause, take a deep breath to refocus, and go from there as well :)

Good luck, you're going to do great!

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