thebalance.com

When it is your turn to be front and center, fear, anxiety, doubt, and even despair can loom. Unless you are a born presenter or an old pro, presenting to a group, no matter the size, can be daunting.

But that is no reason to hide in the shadows allowing a colleague to steal your thunder. You can do this, as long as you calm your nerves to let your confidence, charisma, and intellect shine through.

These five tips will help you to de-stress, so you can impress! Take your time to work on your woes and worries so when the big day comes, you will be on-the-ball with a successful performance.

Rehearse and Practice

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Just like an actor preparing for a role or a teacher preparing her weekly lesson plans, there is preliminary work that goes into doing a stellar job. Practice your presentation and hone in on the important points, cut out the unnecessary jargon, and then do it all again. If you can find someone willing to sit in on your "rehearsal," even better. Get their feedback and rework if needed.

Inc. recommends, "Write your speech rather than taking chances winging it. Try to practice where you'll be delivering your talk. Some acting strategists suggest rehearsing lines in various positions–standing up, sitting down, with arms open wide, (etc.). The more you mix up your position and setting, the more comfortable you'll feel with your speech. Also try recording your presentation and playing it back to evaluate which areas need work.

Be the Early Bird

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You don't need to further add to your stress by getting stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic. Leave the house extra-early on presentation day so you are sure to arrive at the office with plenty of time to settle in, have some coffee, and go through your notes one last time.

As Youper suggests, "(Get) comfortable with the location and the audience. Walk around, pay attention to the layout of the room, and look for things that could potentially distract you. This will help you feel more comfortable because you'll extinguish the initial tension of being in a new place. (Take) the opportunity to talk to a few people that will be in the audience, so you don't feel like you are presenting to strangers."

Remember to Breathe

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Of course, you won't stop breathing, but doing so purposefully can work wonders on calming you down and allowing you to focus. As Inc. notes, "When we're nervous, our muscles tighten–you may even catch yourself holding your breath. Instead, go ahead and take those deep breaths to get oxygen to your brain and relax your body."

Youper adds another potential breathing bummer, "When you get anxious your breathing gets faster. Progressively slowing down helps match your breathing from the start and ease you into a calmer state as the rhythm slows."

Just like meditation teaches, be mindful of your breathing until you are steady and secure. Do this at least 15 minutes before it is time to present so your mind is clear and your body is balanced.

Drink Up… Water, That Is

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It is always important to stay well-hydrated, but before you need to talk for an extended period of time, a moist mouth is a life-saver. A parched presenter is hard to swallow, so to speak.

As per Quick and Dirty Tips, "Dry mouth, also known as cotton mouth, is a very real sign of anxiety and the person experiencing it is suffering." Even if you are a bundle of nerves, you do not have to let 'em see you sweat.

Keep a water bottle by your side to refresh in between points.

Embrace Your Emotions

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Take that nervous energy and transform it into something positive. You will be excited in some way or another, so use this adrenaline rush to make your presentation electrifying.

Like Quick and Dirty Tips notes, "Getting the blood pumping sharpens your senses sand makes you more aware of what's going on around you. Use that extra energy to engage your audience, and to show your passion."

Rather than dwelling on what may go wrong, use your energy to imagine a successful presentation. As per Youper, "Visualize members of the audience thanking you, or colleagues congratulating you. These positive images help manifest a positive attitude, and that will show while you are speaking."

Calm down and get pumped up for a presentation that will prove you are one to watch.

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Developing further skills can boost your career at any stage.

Whether you are looking for a new job or trying to grow in your current one, getting a certification can be a great way to improve your skills.

Anyone can put that they are proficient in a computer program on their resume but having a certificate can help you stand out amongst the competition and give credence to the strength of your skills.

But what's the best way to invest in yourself without breaking the bank? Some certification programs can cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars. We are going to walk through six of the best certifications you can get for $100 or less.

Tableau

Tableau's data visualization capabilities are comparable to Domo and Power BI.

Who is it best for: Those who work with analyzing and presenting data.

Cost: $100 for Tableau Desktop Specialist; additional certifications are available for a larger fee.

More companies than ever see themselves as data companies. Being able to understand data and use it to guide decisions at your company is often critical to taking on a leadership role. Not to mention, being able to present the data in a clean, attractive, and compelling way can help get buy-in from others in your organization or clients. That's why Tableau is a great tool to have in your toolbox.

Tableau allows you to create interactive visual analytics dashboards. In layman's terms, you can take data; create graphs, maps, or charts; and then allow end-users to interact with these graphics to better understand the information. It's a fantastic tool allowing non-technical users to gain insights for data-driven decision-making.

Tableau Desktop Specialist certification starts at $100 and has no expiration date. There are many videos on Tableau's site to prepare for your exam as well as Tableau Starter Kits allowing you to play around and learn the different capabilities of the program. Tableau offers a 14-day free trial as well as free license for one year for students.

Additional certifications after Desktop Specialist are Desktop Associate and Desktop Professional. Those working with a Tableau server may also be interested in a separate certification as a Server Associate or Server Professional.

The Federal Reserve sets the guardrails for the federal funds rate, and through that helps control the money supply for the nation.

When you take out a loan for a car, charge something to your credit card, or get a personal line of credit, there is going to be an interest rate that applies to your loan.

A lot of different factors go into what you will be charged, including your own personal credit score. But even those with flawless credit still see a minimum charge that they can't get around. That all goes back to the Federal Funds Rate.

One thing consumers rarely realize is that all of our banks are lending money to each other every night. Banks are legally required to maintain a certain percentage of their deposits in non-interest-bearing accounts at the Federal Reserve to ensure they have enough money to cover any withdrawals that may unexpectedly come up. However, deposits can fluctuate and it's very common for some banks to exceed the requirement on certain days while some fall short. In cases like this, banks actually lend each other money to ensure they meet the minimum balance. It's a bit hard to imagine these multibillion-dollar financial institutions needing to borrow money to tide them over for a bit, but it happens every single night at the Federal Reserve. It's also a nice deal for those with balances above the reserve balance requirement to earn a bit of money with cash that would normally just be sitting there.

The Federal Reserve The Federal Reserve


The exact interest rate the banks will charge each other is a matter of negotiation between them, but the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) (the arm of the Federal Reserve that sets monetary policy) meets eight times a year to set a target rate. They evaluate a multitude of economic indicators including unemployment, inflation, and consumer confidence to decide the best rate to keep the country in business. The weighted average of all interest rates across these interbank loans is the effective federal funds rate.

This rate has a huge impact on the economy overall as well as your personal finances. The federal funds rate is essentially the cheapest money available to a bank and that feeds into all of the other loans they make. Banks will add a slight upcharge to the rate set by the Fed to determine what is the lowest interest that they will announce for their most creditworthy customers, also known as the prime rate. If you have a variable interest rate loan (very common with credit cards and some student loans), it's likely that the interest rate you pay is a set percentage on top of that prime rate that your lender is paying. That's why in times of low interest rates (it was set at 0% during the Great Recession), a lot of borrowers should go for fixed interest rate loans that won't increase. However, if the federal funds rate was relatively high (it went up to 20% in the early 1980's), a variable interest rate loan may be a better decision as you would be charged less interest should the rate drop without the need to refinance.

The federal funds rate also has a major impact on your investment portfolio. The stock market reacts very strongly to any changes in interest rates from the Federal Reserve, as a lower rate makes it cheaper for companies to borrow and reinvest while a higher rate may restrict capital and slow short-term growth. If you have a significant portion of your investments in equities, a small change in the federal funds rate can have a large impact on your net worth.

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