Presentation anxiety can easily overwhelm and distract even the greatest presenters. Whether we have stood in front of an audience 100 times or just once, presentation anxiety can hit us at the most unexpected moments. One great way to not just overcome but harness presentation anxiety is through visualization.

Visualization has many definitions but for our purpose visualization is defined as the act of imagining yourself in a peaceful and safe environment. In fact, one study found that using visualization actually lowers your blood pressure. So clearly visualization is a powerful tool to helping every presenter harness anxiety.

But just because we know visualization works doesn’t mean it’s easy. Here are 3 keys to great visualization which will help you take your presentation to the next level.

Practice
Visualization is not easy. In fact, more times than not it can feel awkward and uncomfortable. But in the same way you would practice your presentation before stepping on stage it is important to practice visualization before it is vital to your success. In order for visualization to be effective it must become second nature, and practice will help that happen.

Engage All Your Senses
A fatal flaw to any great visualization is only imagining how a place looks. The truth is that every great visualization uses all 5 of your senses. You have to take time to imagine how the sand feels on your feet if you are standing on a beach, or the smell of salt water as you look out over the ocean. There is a direct correlation between the reduction of stress and the engagement of all 5 senses, so don’t settle just for sight do the hard work of engaging all of your senses.

Release the Stress
The final key to great visualization is potentially the most important. The reality is that just imagining a safe peaceful place is not enough when it comes to eliminating stress, instead you have to visualize the stress actually leaving your body. One way to do this is by visualizing an object that represents the stress that you are feeling. Once you have placed all of your stress onto this object it is time to release that Stress. Visualize yourself throwing that object to the side, feel the weight as it releases and as you do allow the stress to leave your body with it.

I recognize that what you just read may seem hokey or weird, but I promise it works. Visualization though it is foreign to many of us is a powerful tool to reducing stress and harnessing anxiety.

If you are looking to become a better presenter be sure to check out our presentation mentor online course. You will leave feeling equipped and ready to knock your next presentation out of the park. Reserve your seat today at PresentationMentor.com.

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