Everybody who has been in a previous Heritage Fair knows how stressful and anxious one can get the day before a presentation. No matter how long you spent preparing or how many times you read your presentation over, something continues to nag at the back of your head. I’ve included five important points on banishing stress and preparing properly.
1. Get a good amount of sleep the night before.
It’s never a good idea to spend the whole night preparing and reading and checking your board. That will only make you tired the next day and focussing will be difficult. Instead, follow your regular sleep pattern, as though the next day is just another normal school day. Any preparations and check-overs should be done during the daytime.
2. Double check that you have everything.
Always check that you have your whole project, especially if you have any small pieces or models. It helps to calm down, stop rushing to find things, and run through your whole presentation to make sure everything you will need is there. Also, having things that will comfort you when you are stressed at the Fair, such as a stress ball or favourite tiny stuffie, is useful.
3. Don’t panic if anything small goes wrong.
Maybe the presentation didn’t go the way you meant for it to go, or you can’t remember what order your little pieces of models were supposed to fit. Don’t fret, just sit down and think straight on what would be the reasonable and practical thing to do. If something just isn’t going the right way in a presentation, remember that the people you are presenting to don’t know that. Just gently guide the presentation back to usual.
4. Think about what kind of questions others might ask you.
Having someone ask you a question you have absolutely no idea about isn’t fun. To avoid this, know more things on your board that you may have only briefly mentioned. People often will want to know more about topics that are not explained very much. If you’re really stuck on a question that you don’t know anything about though, don’t panic, just simply say you’re not entirely sure.
5. Lastly, meet new people and ask questions!
Many people are afraid or get anxious on meeting new people and asking questions. One of the greatest things about Heritage Fair are the other students to talk to and get to know their projects. Starting a conversation can be as easy as saying “I really like your board.”, or “That is an interesting topic!”. Getting to know people will help you feel more comfortable and boost your confidence.