Presentations: An Eternal Dread

Presentations are among your assessments, across subject areas and different courses. They are there to show your tutors that you studied and placed a coherent structure towards a particular subject.

Easy enough right? 

Well, no. There is a dimension to presentations that have nothing to do with our knowledge accumulation or studying efforts. It’s the dread!

Cortisol levels go up, hands start to sweat and shiver. In short, anxiety introduces itself. In the final minutes just before we move out of our seats and walk towards the temporary spotlight, we are in alarm mode. 

This is your average scenario if you have mental health issues and know well in advance that there is no escaping, presentations will meet up with you. You can’t and, in my view, shouldn’t avoid them.

Sure, presentations are a challenge to our comfort zones and can create havoc inside our minds. Because they are a challenge, they are also a chance to turn a corner and realise what is on the other side, which is the reward of having gone through it and observing that we are ok. 

It is helpful to remember that the vast majority of students feel the same way, they are nervous before their presentations and exhilarated after it ends. It is a situation that everyone understands the jitters, nerves and sweats.

I don’t know about your University but the one I went to had a well-being service that provided training for people who have serious issues with presentations. Find out if this is available for you.

You will gradually overcome this emotional trap and be able to demonstrate your knowledge and skills without fear of failing. It can happen. Allow it.

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