7 Ways to Boost Your Confidence Before Giving a School Presentation

Nobody likes giving any sort of presentation at school.

No matter how social you are, they're incredibly nerve-racking and terrifying. Having to stand in front of your peers and give a speech on a topic you're not all that passionate about (for a grade, no less) isn't exactly anyone's definition of fun. That doesn't prevent you from having to do it, however.

So what are you to do? Wallow in self-pity and accept defeat, or figure out a way to get through the ordeal with the greatest of ease? You may be leaning towards the former, but we really know you have to side with the latter.

Scroll below for a few ways to boost your confidence before giving your next school presentation!

Practice as Many Times as You Can

If you want to feel as confident as possible going into the presentation, you have to practice. You know what they say, practice makes perfect. The verdict is still out on who "they" are, but there's no denying they're absolutely right. The more you recite your speech to yourself or in front of others, the more comfortable you'll feel when the big day comes. It won't be entirely perfect, because nothing ever is, but you'll have a better chance at pulling this off than if you go over your speech a few times before giving it. We all know that's not going to cut it, so be sure to put in a little bit of work beforehand to secure your chances of not blowing chunks all over your classmates when giving the presentation.

 

Envision Things Going Well

We all tend to get in our heads before doing things like this in school. We focus on all that could go wrong and convince ourselves that the worst possible outcome will likely happen. Stop. Doing. That. Instead, think about all that could go right and envision you giving your presentation without a single hitch. The more you focus on it playing out perfectly, the better odds you have of it actually going as planned. This brings us to our next point.

Cher playing with her gum after her debate presentation in Clueless

(Clueless via Paramount Pictures)

 

Pay Attention to Your Thoughts

Similar to envisioning a successful outcome, it's important that you pay attention to all the thoughts running through your head as you prepare for your presentation. If they're positive ones, great. If they're negative ones that only tear you down, prevent them from overwhelming you with all their might. Even when you become overwhelmed and fear you'll make a fool of yourself, know that you won't. If you continue to speak to yourself in a positive way, you'll feel more sure of your abilities to ace this presentation. But if you let your bad thoughts get the best of you, things probably won't end well. So whether you think you can or you can't, you're right. We'll leave you to interpret those insightful words we read on a motivational poster in our counselor's office once.

 

Accept That Mistakes Will Be Made

Nobody's perfect, not even you. Not matter how prepared you are for the presentation, the smallest mistake can and will be made. It happens, because you're what? Human. Many people choose to reject this fact, which only causes them to be more flustered when they flub a minor part of the presentation. But if you learn to embrace missteps, they won't throw you off your game when they do happen. Everybody makes mistakes, even those who seem so skilled at public speaking.

Mia shocked after finding out she's a princess in The Princess Diaries

(The Princess Diaries via Buena Vista Pictures)

 

Know That Your Classmates Want to See You Succeed

While working on things you can do is easy, you can't control your classmates. They'll be your audience, which can be equal parts terrifying and amazing. On one hand, you might be close with a few of them and not feel stressed talking in front of them. On the other, there may be a few you don't like who stress you out. Either way, know that they want to see you succeed. Even the ones you don't get along with aren't actively hoping you do poorly. Chances are, they're too busy worrying about their presentation that they're not at all focused on yours.

 

Be Honest With Yourself

Are you overwhelmed? Do you feel nervous? Are you absolutely terrified that everything can and will go wrong? Accept those feelings and deal with them. Rather than pushing them deep below to the surface to power through this presentation, know that they're there and deal with them the minute they rear their ugly heads. These feelings are going to happen no matter what. Again, focusing on the positive is always recommended, but sometimes that can't happen. Above all else, it's important to be honest with yourself. Faking it till you make it isn't everyone's cup of tea, so if it isn't yours, don't drink it. The key thing to remember is to not let these negative feelings psych you out. Embrace them to work through them and then get yourself back on track to rock this presentation.

Betty looking out of breath in a scene from Riverdale

(Riverdale via The CW)

 

Breathe

We feel like we say this all the time, but it works for everything—just breathe. You're going to be nervous, and that's perfectly okay, but don't get yourself all worked up about the presentation. Instead, focus on your breathing to keep yourself as calm as possible. You can do this, so don't tell yourself otherwise. And if trying to pep talk your way to confidence doesn't work, breathing will. So remember to do that before, during and after your presentation. Once it's done, it's done.

 

If you're trying to be more confident during the rest of the school year, HERE are nine ways to do just that.