As you step up to the front of the room, you can feel your face flush and your ears burn. Your hands are shaking as you take command of the stage. A little voice in the back of your head is telling you that everyone can tell how nervous you are.
That little voice lies.
You might be surprised how many people are actually oblivious to your nervousness. And there are two big reasons for this:
1) You’re probably not as obviously nervous as you think you are.
I know from my own personal experience, that sometimes when your face and ears feel hot, they haven’t changed color at all. Also, a small tremor in your hands that isn’t noticeable to the audience, can feel like your hand is jerking about wildly. But it’s not.
2) If you play your cards right, your presentation will wow them so much they’ll never get around to noticing your nervousness.
When I gave my first speech for my current Toastmasters club, I was so nervous I was actually seeing purple in the sides of my vision and I was convinced I was going to faint right there in front of them. I even forgot some of my stories. But when I asked around the room after my presentation, no one had a clue I was nervous. You can see a video of that speech here.
I believe I was able to hide my nervousness using these few tips I’d like to share with you today.
Ignore it and move on
If you pay too much attention to your nervousness, you give it power. The more power it has, the more nervous you’ll feel and eventually it will become noticeable. Pay more attention to your content and delivery than your nerves.
Pretend you’re a confident speaker
I’ve talked about this before, but an excellent way to overcome nervousness is to pretend you aren’t nervous. Like the song goes, “when you fool the people you fear, you fool yourself as well.”
Give them an awesome presentation
Like I mentioned earlier, if your content is good and your delivery of that content is well done, your nervousness will be overshadowed by your awesomeness. Be entertaining. Tell stories that illustrate your points. Make your presentation so engaging that people are paying attention to what you have to say, not your shaking hands and sweaty brow (unless, of course, your brow is so sweaty that you’re tossing droplets at the audience … but that’s another post).
Does Speaking Make You Nervous?
Discover 13 practices that will help alleviate your presentation fears and anxiety.
Inside You’ll Learn:
- Five ways to reduce anxiety before your audience arrives.
- Four practices to reduce anxiety as your audience arrives.
- Four things you can do to calm down right before stepping up to the platform.