Give some thought beforehand to the day that you will deliver your talk. Plan your day and make sure you have clean underwear and clean clothes and upgrade your attire a bit to show the instructor and the class a bit of respect. You'll find that it also makes you feel better and more confident. Remember that you put your written report in a binder or folder of some sort to dress it up. Do the same for yourself. It can't hurt.
When your name is called to deliver your presentation, walk to the front of the room, take a deep breath, arrange your note cards on the podium and settle yourself. There is no need to rush. Look out over your audience and perhaps select a friend or someone who looks friendly and interested and plan on speaking for the most part to them or in their direction; at least until your nerves quiet down a little.
Make the first words out of your mouth come out with enough power and authority that you can be heard in the back row. It may be much louder than you are used to talking. It may seem like you are shouting, but you probably are not. Speaking these first few words with authority does amazing things for your confidence. Work on this first sentence that you are going to use the same as you would the first paragraph of a written report. Make it a question or a powerful statement or something that will capture the interest of the audience and give you a chance of keeping their attention for several minutes. All the rules about first impressions apply.
As you proceed through your talk, don't be afraid to pause to check your notes. You may want to even plan a pause for emphasis, to let a point sink in with your audience. Check your notes when needed, but you shouldn't have to do it often. There is no need to rush through any part of your presentation. Make sure that you have prepared a closing statement that anchors the major point of your talk securely. Make sure you have practice it enough to deliver it with strength and certainty.
When you finish thank your audience and return confidently to your seat, amazed at what you have just accomplished. Look forward to that reward you promised yourself.
Last Updated: 08/20/2013