I gave an assessed presentation yesterday to a group of students and two lecturers on my lab work which I have been doing for my dissertation. I had not practiced as much as I would but still found that I was not as nervous as I thought I would be when standing in front of everyone. It went better than I expected and my voice did not tremble uncontrollably with nerves as I feared might happen.
After it was all over, I thought back to the first year when we were told we had to do a presentation on an assigned topic and most of the class dreaded it. Standing in front of your peers and lecturers who seem to be specialists in everything is quiet nerve racking especially when time is allocated after your presentation after which everyone gets to ask you questions on the topic. What many people initially do is speed through their presentation feeling self-conscious and wishing for it all to be over as quickly as possible so they can return to the relative safety of their seat. Over time though as you give more presentations you may find like I have that you enjoy standing at the front and talking to everyone. The key is to practice your presentation beforehand, preferentially in front of friends. Oh and just remember that everyone is not staring at you waiting for you to slip up even though this may seem to be the case. Take a deep breath and to try and enjoy it as hard as it might seem!