There is endless advice available on how to overcome presentation nerves.
For many people fear of speaking in public ranks higher than fear of spiders or even death.
The problem – according to Jeremy Jamieson, psychology professor at the University of Rochester – is that we tend to think all nerves and stress is bad.
“Before speaking in public, people often interpret stress sensations, like butterflies in the stomach, as a warning that something bad is about to happen”.
Jamieson goes on to say “But those feelings just mean that our body is preparing to address a demanding situation, The body is marshalling resources, pumping more blood to our major muscle groups and delivering more oxygen to our brains.”
How our body reacts to social stress is exactly the same ‘flight or fight’ response it produces in response to actual physical danger.
The good news is that we can actually use these responses to help us perform. So if presentation nerves raise their head here are some ways to use it to your advantage
Get Your Preparation In Early
Don’t wait until a few days before your talk to get started. Allow those presentation nerves spur you into action and seize the earliest opportunity to prepare
Know Your Content
Presentation nerves are more likely to kick in if you are not fully confident in out content. Make sure you thoroughly understand your topic. Understand the stats, what they mean, what call to action they suggest .
Practice Your Delivery
Rehearse your talk out loud as often as you can and record it. Then you can both see and hear how you come across and make any changes necessary.
Prepare Your Answers
Being put on the spot can be a nerve wrecking experience. Make a list of likely questions you’ll receive, and prepare your answers. If you don’t know the answer to a question don’t be afraid to say something like ‘I’ll need to get back to you on that’
Remember that even the most consummate and experienced performers experience performance nerves, so don’t let them cripple you. Instead let them keep you sharp!
“ConfidentSpeak is a Voice and Communications consultancy based in Dublin, Ireland. We have worked with leading Irish and international companies and executives. Contact us for details on our range of corporate/private voice, executive presence and presenting programmes for executives, sales teams and technical professionals.”
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