How to Deal with Stress Before Your Presentations


There’s a joke from Jerry Seinfeld about public speaking: Most people at a funeral would rather be in the coffin than standing up and giving the eulogy.

Managing pre-speaking stress is a common concern, particularly when presenting in a foreign language. While speaking in public in your native language can be stressful, adding the additional layer of intercultural communication introduces new challenges. Not only do you have to consider your content and delivery, but you also face the stress of word recall and clear pronunciation, as well as the pressure of handling unexpected questions.

It’s important to recognize that feeling some level of stress before a presentation is normal and can even enhance your performance. However, excessive stress can hinder your ability to speak effectively and can lead to mental blocks.

Top Tips for Dealing with the Stress of Public Speaking

Let’s look at some public speaking techniques for dealing with your stress:

Tip #1:

Managing the stress of public speaking in English should be approached as a long-term strategy. Developing techniques to control your breathing and lower your heart rate is essential for dealing with stress at the moment. Consider using relaxation apps like Respire Relax, which can guide you in deep-breathing exercises and help you build a daily practice. Additionally, engaging in activities such as meditation or mindfulness can significantly contribute to stress reduction. Incorporating these practices into your routine, such as regular yoga sessions, can build your resilience to stress over time. By committing to these activities consistently, you will likely notice a positive difference in your ability to manage stress during English presentations. I’ve been doing yoga for many years now, and I think this has helped me build my resistance to stress.

Tip #2:

Square breathing is a simple yet effective technique to manage pre-presentation stress. Visualizing a square and coordinating your breath with its four sides allows you to regulate your breathing, calm your mind, and reduce anxiety. Practicing square breathing for a few minutes before your presentation can help center your focus, promote relaxation, and provide a sense of control, enabling you to approach your professional English presentation with greater composure and confidence.

Tip #3:

Power poses can be a helpful technique to boost confidence before a presentation. Find a private space, like a restroom, and choose a power pose that resonates with you. This can be a stance where you take up more space and exude confidence. Hold the pose for at least two minutes, allowing your body language to influence your mental state positively. By adopting a confident posture, you signal a sense of confidence to your brain, which can help reduce anxiety and enhance your overall presentation performance.

Tip #4:

Preparation is paramount when it comes to presentations. Prioritize practicing your presentation out loud, dedicating ample time to rehearse as often as possible. While visual aids like slides are important, the content delivery and your ability to effectively convey your message hold greater significance. By rehearsing and familiarizing yourself with the material, you will gain confidence, improve your delivery, and ensure a smoother flow during the actual presentation. Emphasize the quality of your spoken words over the visual elements to create a lasting impact on your audience.

Tip #5:

During your presentation, it’s important to take control of your body language to project confidence and engage your audience effectively. If you’re presenting in person, consciously maintain an open posture by avoiding crossing your legs or arms and refraining from folding your arms in front of your body. This open body language conveys approachability and openness to the audience. For virtual presentations, ensure that you maintain eye contact by looking directly into the camera. This helps create a connection with your virtual audience and conveys a sense of engagement. By being mindful of your body language, whether in-person or virtual, you can enhance your overall presence and confidently captivate your audience.

Tip #6:

Controlling your voice is essential during presentations to project confidence and engage your audience effectively. Prioritize warming up your voice before speaking, using techniques such as singing or voice warm-up exercises. During the presentation, you should consciously pause, allowing yourself to breathe deeply and regain composure. Speak at a moderate pace, avoiding the tendency to rush. You can deliver your business English presentation with clarity, assertiveness, and a commanding presence by focusing on vocal control, incorporating pauses, and maintaining a steady pace.


After completing your language coaching, take a moment to relish the sense of relief and accomplishment. Remember, every new situation may initially feel uncomfortable, but each experience builds your confidence for future presentations. Even if your first attempt wasn’t perfect, you now know that you have the capability to do it again and improve over time. As you continue to face these challenges head-on, you will gradually notice that the stress you once experienced diminishes, giving way to a greater sense of ease and proficiency. Embrace the journey of growth and celebrate your progress along the way.