Giving your first presentation in a new and sometimes pressuring environment called university can become a very daunting task. There are some simple steps that can really help you to just remain calm. Your teacher is going to be marking you on your composure and how you handle yourself in front of the class. When people tell you to just imagine your audience in their underwear, don’t believe them because this will not help at all.
Be prepared. If it is a slideshow, go through it before your presentation and make sure everything is there and that you know the order of the slides. Also with a power point, make sure you have a remote or some way of switching the slides without standing in front of a computer screen. Things like this are all done in advance and when being marked on your presentation, professionalism will be key.
If you know that you are going to be nervous while your waiting then take steps to help you with that. Dress in layers so that you can deal with yourself when you start sweating or get the chills. Also bringing a bottle of water with you is a great help if you feel your mouth getting dry.
Be loud and precise. You have to make sure that your entire audience can hear you, especially your teacher. Now when you are designing your slides make them vague, with simple charts and pictures. This will help your audience to really focus on what you are saying and not on what your slide says.
If you think you need cue cards then get them. They can be a very useful tool but you have to be cautious with them. If you are caught reading everything off them, then you might as well of just brought a piece of paper up there with you. You want to look confident in what you’re presenting. Put simple notes and reminders on your cue cards so that you can find your place easily if you get lost. Have them with you simply for confidence and DO NOT use them unless you have to.
Taking the time to really know your presentation is the most important part! If you at least appear to know what your talking about then it is easier to recover when you make a mistake. If you make a mistake that fine, conduct yourself professionally and just recover. Just remember, be calm, knowledgeable, confident and do the little things in preparation and everything will go according to plan.