Does your mind mess with you when you need to do a presentation?


Do you ever find yourself feeling nervous, anxious, or unsure of yourself before a presentation? Do you feel like you are not going to make the right impression and even stuff it up? You may even feel like you are not the person to do the presentation and worse, you may feel like a fraud who will be ‘found out”! You’re not alone!

Many people experience a range of emotions when faced with the prospect of speaking in front of others. However, understanding why this happens and learning how to manage these feelings makes a big difference in how you approach presentations.

One reason why your mind may “mess with you” before a presentation is due to a phenomenon called the “fight or flight” response. This is a natural reaction that occurs in stressful situations, where your body prepares to either confront a threat or run away from it. While this response can be helpful in some situations, such as when facing a physical danger, it is definitely NOT helpful when you are about to give a presentation.

Have you ever accomplished something significant, only to doubt your abilities and feel like a fraud?

Again, you’re not alone. Many high-achieving individuals experience this phenomenon known as ‘impostor syndrome’. Pre-presentation jitters can be simply  a fear of judgment or criticism from others.


You might worry about making mistakes, forgetting what you want to say, or not being able to engage your audience. These fears can be exacerbated by a lack of confidence in your abilities or past negative experiences with public speaking.

Understanding Impostor Syndrome: Why Do We Doubt Ourselves Despite Success?

Impostor syndrome is characterised by feelings of self-doubt and a persistent fear of being exposed as a fraud, despite evidence of one’s competence. This psychological pattern can affect anyone, from students to professionals, and is not necessarily related to a lack of skills or accomplishments.



So, why do we sometimes feel like impostors, even when we know we’re good at what we do?

Understanding the root causes of impostor syndrome is the first step towards overcoming it. By recognising that these feelings are common and often unfounded, you can start to challenge them and build a more positive self-image.

Remember, it’s natural to feel doubts and insecurities before a presentation, but taking control of them is important. Recognise your accomplishments, embrace your strengths, and understand that you deserve to be in your current position. You are not an impostor; you are a capable individual on the path to success in your presentation.

So, how can you manage these feelings and ensure that your mind doesn’t “mess with you” before a presentation? Here are a few tips:

  1. Prepare and Practise. The more prepared you are, the more confident you will feel. Practise your presentation multiple times until you feel comfortable with the material. We advise for every minute of your presentation you should prepare and rehearse for an hour.
  2. Focus on Your Audience. Instead of worrying about how you are being perceived, focus on delivering value to your audience. Think about how your presentation can benefit them and how you can engage them effectively.
  3. Use Relaxation Techniques. Deep breathing, visualisation, or progressive muscle relaxation can help calm your nerves before a presentation.
  4. Challenge Negative Thoughts. When negative thoughts arise, challenge them with more realistic and positive ones. Remind yourself of past successes and your ability to overcome challenges.
  5. Seek Support. Talk to friends, family, or colleagues about your feelings. Sometimes, just talking about your fears can help alleviate them.

Remember, it’s normal to feel nervous before a presentation. By understanding why these feelings occur and taking steps to manage them, you can ensure that your mind doesn’t “mess with you” and deliver a successful presentation.


At Communication & Media Manoeuvres, we have countless examples (and testimonials) of CEOs and senior executives who have been transformed from nervous and anxious, or just plain boring, public speakers and presenters to receiving peer accolades and standing ovations.

Taking the first step to enquire about how we can help may just transform your life and your reputation.

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