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Anxiety and Presentations

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    • Thread Starter

    I went to an interview this week and they seemed to be pleased and now i've been offered a second interview. I didn't know about this when i applied so i would never have done it.
    It involves giving a 20min presentation to a bunch of the businessmen and i really don't think i can do it. I have really bad social anxiety and it took everything in me to give a 8 minute presentation at university. It drove me insane with worry thinking about it and before it began i nearly walked out.
    It would be a great opportunity if i did it and i understand 'what's the worst that could happen' and my thoughts are making it worse. I get all of that but it doesn't matter, i still panic and don't think i can do this.

    The feedback i got from my interview was that i doubted myself a lot and seemed nervous. They said me being anxious could cost me the job because i'm in anxious then they'll feel anxious. So i felt **** hearing that.

    I don't know what to do. I know that i should go and at least try, but i physically don't feel able to do it.

    Does anyone have any tips or advice?

    Practice saying your presentation out loud, and also during the presentation try and look above the people like find a spot at the back of the room and aim your presentation towards that !

    Go for it. Practice the presentation everyday in front of the mirror. Stand up straight, smile your biggest cheesy smile and speak clearly. Just practice your soft skills and try talking to more people on a daily basis. When you do the presentation just think of something funny like imagine the business people you are talking to are naked, pretend you are an actor on a stage... try and be a character who is more confident. Just give it a go. Don't pass on an opportunity like this. You need to take life by the reigns.

    Yeah, I'd repeatedly practice out loud and get used to the sound of your own voice speaking aloud. It feels weird at first but it does help and actually allows you to better understand the topic itself by practising. This way, the presentation itself will feel less novel and less intimidating.

    I'd personally suggest using your memory rather than prompt cards so you can think more flexibly about how the articulate the information.
    • Thread Starter

    Thank you for your replies. At the moment the thought of presenting is filling me with dread.

    I'm trying to speak and i can't get the words out, and it's only to myself!

    All through school and my first degree I refused to do presentations. I remember for one class I had to write a 2500 word essay rather than do a 5 minute presentation. All because I had pretty bad social anxiety.

    However, I'm doing a second degree now and the final for one of my classes was a 12 minute group presentation - I did it and I felt so incredibly proud of myself for it. Like you I really doubted myself and felt like I couldn't do it. I practiced a lot in front of my wife and told my group members that I was nervous, but everyone was so supportive and I did something I never thought I could do.

    I think this is a really good opportunity for you to conquer this fear. The people above have already given you good advice. To reiterate, practice a LOT until you feel confident - I would really recommend note cards but don't just write everything, put the main points and your practice will help you fill in the gaps. I'd say to practice first in front of a mirror, then maybe a close friend, then a group of friends until you can do it perfect. I wish you the best of luck, you can do this! :five:
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