Public Speaking – Nerves

nervous public speakingToday is the BIG topic for all public speakers regardless of experience – nerves.

Nerves – the very reason we don’t want to speak in public. How often have I heard “ I get too nervous”; “I feel sick at the thought of it”

Did you know that in any number of quotable surveys, speaking in public is more feared than death? I am here to assure you, you will survive it. Some will go on to actually look forward to opportunities and all of you will be able to do it with the right preparation and practice.

But – no matter how often you speak, how well you know the topic, how well you know the audience, how well you are prepared or how often you have practiced this particular presentation, you will get nervous.

My answer will look too simple. Well, it is simple – focus on the message not the delivery vehicle. And simple is always better.

It is the message that is important, not how you feel. You want the audience to remember what you said, not how nervous you were, even though they may have some sympathy for the way you are feeling.

Write down your symptoms and analyse each one for a workable solution.

If your hands shake, work out something you can hold that won’t accentuate the shaking or practice holding them together behind your back (or putting one in a pocket) You will need to ensure that your solution doesn’t change the style of your presentation.

Always have a written copy of what you are preparing to say, even when this is as short as a two minute introduction – nerves have a way of completely blanking your mind to the extent of not knowing what you do for a living!

Because nerves take many forms, my kindle book has some other suggestions and methods for you to consider when addressing your nerves.

However, both my personal and coaching experience have shown that focusing on the message and not how you feel will make the most difference to how you can control your nerves.