Do you find it difficult when presenting & public speaking?
How do you feel when the words presentation, public performance, meeting, lecture, public speaking are mentioned? Do you feel nervous before talking? Are nerves stunting your progress?
I’ll let you into a little known secret… even professionals get nervous?
Celebrities such as Robbie Williams and Scary Spice Girl Mel B have both commented on how nervous they used to get before a performance. All this said, nerves can be a good thing, they help us to prepare well, while bringing energy and focus to the task at hand.
If you’re too relaxed you probably aren’t giving it the focus it needs. However, there is a problem if these nerves become limiting! So here are some ways to overcome nerves and make it a great performance for all:
1. Remember nerves are normal everyone gets them. If you feel nervous then you are human.
2. How do the nerves manifest themselves for you? For most people it is normally a fear of forgetting what they are going to say, or falling over, or people laughing at them. These thoughts make it worse and it then becomes a downward spiral.
Stop these thoughts and instead think about “how much value can I give to my audience?”, “how can I make it fun for my audience?” or ask “how could this be fun for me!?”
3. You are there to give the audience a gift, don’t think you are there giving a presentation that is going to be scrutinised! You are there to give them a gift of your experience, knowledge and expertise
4. If you get the opportunity beforehand then chat to the audience. It will feel more like you are talking to a group of friends as opposed to strangers
5. The best antidote to nerves is to do it regularly. The more you do it the more comfortable you will become with it, so practice, practice, practice!
6. Remember, your audience wants you to succeed! No one in the audience is hoping you’re going to be rubbish.
7. Deliver the talk in front of a smaller, friendly audience to start with and get comfortable with it. Then when you go to a new audience you will feel better about it. Don’t test a new speech on a new audience!
8. Before you start to talk or perform take a moment to breathe deeply and slowly. Try breathing in for three, holding for nine and then out for six. Repeat four or five times.
9. Instead of asking yourself “how am I going to remember all of this?” or “what if they hate it?” ask more productive questions like; “how can I make this fun for the audience?” or “which bit of my presentation are they going to enjoy the most?”
By following these simple tips you can easily reduce your nerves so they become an asset not a hindrance.
Let me know how your next talk, lecture, performance or presentation goes by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Clinical Hypnotherapist / Psychotherapist