It is perfectly natural to feel a bit nervous before making a presentation. Even a seasoned professional may feel a butterfly in his/her stomach. There are two main reasons we feel nervous before we speak to a new audience. If we feel uncomfortable or are not very familiar with the subject at hand, we get nervous. We don’t know if we can handle a question from the audience. If we don;t know the audience at all, we feel a bit unease.
The best way to deal with these two main causes is very simple. Learn your subject well and get to know the audience before your presentation. Make sure you know the subject as well as you know the back of your hand. Gather as much background information as possible about the subject so that your self confidence is high. You don’t include all your knowledge in your presentation. You keep it in your head.
Get to know your audience before you speak. Mingle with the crowd if possible. Engage in small talk with individual members of the audience. Once you have done that, the audience will cease to become “total strangers” to you and it will be easier for you to “have a conversation” with the audience when you are making your presentation.