Manage Your Nerves Along the Way - Deepstash

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How to Calm Your Nerves Before a Big Presentation

Manage Your Nerves Along the Way

  • If you make a mistake, keep going.
  • Prepare a list of possible questions, in case you're worried people will ask you something you won't know how to answer.
  • If you're asked something you're not really sure about, use a response that goes along the lines of  “That’s a good question. I don’t have the answer right now, but I’ll get back to you on that.” And maybe then turn the question back to the audience.

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Trick your brain into calm
  • Become aware of your safety and breathing. Your fight or flight response may be in overdrive. 
  • Take note of five things you can see, four things you can hear, three things you can touch, two things you can smell, and one thing you can taste.
  • Quiet your fears by visualizing a stream flowing past you. Each time a thought pops into your head, imagine the thought as a leaf on the stream.
Using affirmations

Remind yourself how awesome you are with affirmations. Write down affirmations that remind you of your capabilities and strengths and keep them somewhere you can find them if nerves strike.

Another suggestion is to keep a file of praise, awards, and other evidence of how good you are at your job an read them when you are struggling with a confidence crisis.

Get clear about your feelings

Take a moment to really analyze what you’re feeling and strategize for that.

Can you reframe negative feelings, like fear, into something more positive, like anticipation? If not, remind yourself that it’s perfectly normal to be nervous before a high-stakes situation. 

Reframe those nerves as excitement

Try embracing your sweaty palms and racing heartbeat as signs of excitement. This reappraisal of anxiety can help stop nerves from overwhelming you.

Encouraging excitement can prime you to see the task as an opportunity, whereas trying to calm down can make you see the challenge as a threat.

Don’t make it all about you

Make it about the ideas you want to share.

Take the focus off of yourself and putting it instead onto the valuable information you are going to deliver. That way, the speech becomes an exchange of ideas and it creates a place of passion and purpose.

Don’t obsess over each word

Oftentimes, the reason that we mess up is that we start paying too much attention to the details.

When you’re speaking and you’re trying to get the point across, think about the 3 points you want to get across.  This way,  you'll focus on the outcome of what you’re trying to say rather than every word coming out of your mouth.

Practice and Prepare

Nervousness is normal. But don't associate these feelings with the sense that you will perform poorly or make a fool of yourself.

The best way to overcome this nervousness is to prepare." Go over your notes several times, practice a lot and get feedback from someone close to you for your performance.

Know Your Audience

Your speech is about them, not you. Learn as much about your listeners as you can. This will help you determine your choice of words, level of information, organization pattern, and motivational statement.

Organize Your Material

And do it in the most effective manner. Write down the topic, the general purpose, specific purpose, central idea, and main points. Make sure to grab the audience’s attention in the first 30 seconds.