Giving a good presentation on the road is really hard. Just ask countless celebrities, CEOs, and athletes who are great at home but choke when they’re not on their turf. The security of your daily routine is often the grounding force that keeps you calm and collected. Not to mention, jet lag can mess with your sleep schedule and make you feel more like taking a nap than dazzling the crowd with your presentation.
Nevertheless, your presentation can still be a success with the help of these tips on how to loosen up before you step up to the podium.
First, try yoga. It’s an excellent strategy for relaxation and can easily be practiced remotely. Try to fit a yoga session into your travel schedule by calling ahead to ask about local classes near your Airbnb. If you don’t have time for a class, you can always use a bath towel for a yoga mat in your Airbnb living room or outdoor space, and pull up a yoga video on your phone. Practicing yoga the night before or the morning of your presentation can help loosen you up so that your presentation can flow as smoothly as your poses.
Deep breathing is an effective way to calm your nerves before a presentation. Another helpful way to loosen up is to remind yourself that you’re ready to present. On the day of your presentation, before you rush to the kitchen to brew your morning coffee, take a few minutes to run through what you’re going to say. Business Travel Ready homes on Airbnb offer plenty of workspace, so you can spread out your materials or even pull up your presentation on the living room TV. Confidence in your preparation will help you stay calm and focused.
Creating realistic expectations is another strategy for loosening up before your presentation. “Don’t strive for perfection,” says Dr. Laura L. Ciel, co-founder of Life Advance International and president of the Santa Barbara County Psychological Association. “Set your intention to be authentic and clear. One of the best ways to prepare for a big presentation is to pause and get clear about what really matters to you. Let go of what is outside of your control and remind yourself that no one and nothing is ‘perfect.’”
Dr. Ciel also recommends using laughter to decrease nervous tension before a presentation by watching or listening to something funny. “Laughter releases nervous energy, allowing you to focus on what really matters and loosening your body so that you can show up calm, authentic, and clear,” she says.
One final tip that Dr. Ciel recommends for calming nerves is to exercise outdoors, in nature if possible. Many Airbnbs are located close to local parks, so it’s easy to take a quick, relaxing jog before the big meeting. Dr. Ciel advises avoiding hotel gyms at all costs—any greenery helps.
“Go for a hike, run on nearby trails, or bike to a lake or beach. Exercise allows you to release tension, clear your mind, and connect you to your body… all important in setting yourself up for a powerful presentation and staying calm. Being in nature connects you to the bigger picture, which also helps you stay calm and clear,” says Dr. Ciel.
Loosening up before a presentation might require you to try something new. Fortunately, there are many approaches that might fit into your travel schedule. Whether it’s adjusting expectations or fitting in some exercise, you can calm your nerves and leave whatever tension you are holding outside the conference room.