I had a grand time being interviewed by Carmen Macdougall the VA Coach and Mentor on a teleconference to her members for her Business Booster sessions. She has recorded our session and I’ll let you know some of what we discussed in another post. She will also put the recording up for sale and will let you know how to get hold of a copy. Though something she asked started a train of thought and I put together some tips:
How do you deal with your nerves before a presentation? Well….how do you?
- Prepare rigorously. Find out who’s going to be in the audience to know how to pitch it. Examine your content to make sure you engage your audience immediately. Know the headlines and the shape though don’t learn it. Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse.
- Remember your triumphs. Whenever you feel nervous, use this as a trigger for evidence of your competence, achievement and satisfaction.
- Relax and smile. Whenever you think of the presentation, stay steady. Lift shoulders as you breathe in, then breathe out whilst dropping them. Then focus on a spot below your belly button and breathe into there. It helps you breathe deeply and avoids shallow upper chest breathing which promotes panic symptoms.
- Exchange nerves for excitement. On the day itself when you’re at home, a great exercise is to bend over and as you come upright reach your arms to the sky and shout, “Yes!” Keep this memory in your mind and imagine shouting “Yes!” silently just as you rise to give your presentation.
- Stand and wait! I challenge you to count to 10 before you begin. As I have said before, you demonstrate your authority and show your respect towards your audience to give them time to settle. It gives you time to focus your thoughts and helps set the pace of your delivery. It helps you to focus your excitement too.
- Remember you are the messenger, not the hero. It’s your message that you’re audience has come to hear. And they’ll want to know what’s in it for them. Your performance is an incidental. So connect, engage and inspire them to march to your tune.
- Breathe. If you find yourself rushing, going blank or stumbling, like the videos on You Tube, “buffer” yourself and catch up with yourself. Again, focus on breathing into a spot below your belly button.
Do let me know of any tips and ideas you have that you’ve found useful in reducing your nervousness – either by commenting below or emailing me firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d value your thoughts and would be happy to attribute them to you in future posts.