Deal with nerves


Visualisation can be of huge benefit in increasing your confidence and getting over nerves.

Mental transportation to a ‘happy place’ – a sun-drenched beach; sitting in front of a real fire at your parents' house- is a popular visualisation exercise:

  • Close your eyes and visualise the sand underneath or the warmth of fire on your face.
  • Build in your mind the sounds you would hear and the aromas you would smell.
  • Bring yourself into the moment and let yourself relax.

Below is an example of an alternative visualisation you can try. Go through these steps in the days leading up to your presentation and particularly just before you give your talk:

  • Close your eyes and take a couple of long, slow, deep breaths.
  • Picture yourself as you prepare to go up and give your presentation.
  • See that you are feeling calm and confident.
  • Picture yourself being well prepared, with all of your notes ready and your slides set up correctly for you to use.
  • Picture youself standing in front of the audience and beginning your presentation, talking in a loud, clear voice.
  • Imagine your audience listening to you with interest – a sympathetic audience, friendly and encouraging.
  • Picture yourself working through your presentation, remembering all of the points you want to make, presenting clearly and logically.
  • At the end of your presentation there are a couple of questions from the audience which you answer with confidence.
  • As your presentation ends the audience clearly appreciate it. You are happy that you have done a good job.


If you can picture this as clearly as possible in your head, you can begin to see it as true – and make it true. Treat it as a little mental rehearsal – you can go through your complete presentation in your mind and that will only serve to improve your ability to carry it out for real..