Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Creating Presentations

Presentation Anxiety

It’s normal to be anxious or nervous when giving a presentation, but there are ways that presentation anxiety can be reduced. 

Before your presentation, build your confidence through knowledge.

  • Remember that the focus is not on you, but on your message
  • Remind yourself of the value of your ideas
  • Educate yourself about the facts and build a passion for what you’re talking about

Learn and use public speaking techniques that will improve your presentation.

  • Start with an attention grabber
  • Use a pre-planned structure, like a beginning, middle, and end
  • Engage the audience with eye contact or tools (ie. polls, Q&A)
  • Don’t be afraid of silence
  • Use effective body language
  • Practice!

Identify the cause of your anxiety so you can use specific techniques to reduce it.

  • A new skill? Work on skill development and practice
  • Perfectionism? Practice mindfulness, use this event as a lesson learned
  • General stress? When not directly related to the presentation, focus on destressing strategies (ie. yoga, mindfulness, journaling, music)
  • Glossophobia (fear of public speaking)? Discuss with a counsellor at the Student Wellness Centre
  • The event? With pressure to succeed at the event, concentrate on preparation, building knowledge, and practicing

Other strategies to try:

  • Find opportunities to present regularly, or join a club where there is a lot speaking
  • Focus on one audience member rather than the whole crowd
  • Watch TED Talks and observe how the presenters speak, move, etc.
  • Use appropriate humour in your presentation


Improve your writing and study skills! Book an appointment with a writing advisor and/or academic coach on OSCARplus.  Questions? Email


“Fear of Public Speaking.” The Center for Treatment of Anxiety and Mood Disorders

Sawchuk, Craig N. “Fear of Public Speaking: How Can I Overcome It?” Mayo Clinic, 17 May 2017,

Ask Chat is Offline - Send an Email