Do you suffer from any of the following?
If so, you may be suffering from nerves. As promised, we’re here to help.
Managing nervousness is all about focusing on the three Ps:
Perspective is important because it ensures you have a realistic frame of mind entering into the situation. Most people feel that their audience is waiting for them to fail.
In reality, 10% will be critical, 30% don’t care or neutral, 30% want you to be good, and 30% assume you’re good or you wouldn’t be here.
If you come into the room anticipating that they are just waiting for you to trip up, you’ll increase your nervousness tenfold. However, if you go into the room knowing you won’t be perfect, but the audience will likely be on your side, how might that affect your performance? Turns out, pretty positively. How does a better performance change the results of your speech? Definitely positively.
Preparation is a well-known checklist item for any seasoned public speaker. They know that if they aren’t prepared, they won’t succeed. Preparation is pretty simple. Know your audience. Know your material. Be confident in both.
Practice could be confused with preparation, and indeed they are pretty similar. “Practice makes perfect” is a truism for a reason – it works. And it might be different things for different people. Some people might need to read aloud to a camera or to a practice audience. Some might do well to write the speech outline out until they’ve internalized it.
A tip for decreasing nerves day of is to scope out the space. Knowing what you’re walking into can help your perspective when the time comes, and can help you practice for that specific space.
Three tips, and none of them involved imagining your audience nude!