The majority of my work is as an opening keynote speaker on productivity and performance for leaders at corporations and associations and I love it!
Whether you are doing the best man speech, an update at the company meeting or delivering a keynote address at your industry conference, most people get nervous before they present.
I saw a great post on Instagram from my friend Rory Vaden ‘you can’t be nervous when you stand in service’ – I love that.
To overcome nervous tension before you speak here are five strategies for you to implement.
Change your focus – the reason people get nervous is their center of thought is all about themselves! You are focused on you. Of course, you will get nervous. Some people focus on the audience, yep you will still get nervous. To prevent nervous tension stop focusing on you, stop focusing on them – focus on creating a conversation. It’s not a presentation it’s a conversation. And we have no right to be nervous about a conversation, right?
Know your content – plan, research, rehearse. Know your facts, know your topic, know your opening and closing lines. This one is obvious and yet astounds me how many people stand up without preparation. Never disrespect your audience by inadequate preparation. Winging it is not cool.
Create a pre-game routine. Arrive early, meet as many people as you can, do a sound check, test your entire slide deck, understand the lighting, the room set up and what is happening before and after your presentation. You might like to play upbeat music, find somewhere quiet to take deep breaths; whatever works for you. Me… I like to be amongst the crowd before I go on stage.
Meet the audience –stop feeling nervous about the audience get out there and meet them; shake hands, learn their story, learn their names. You are not presenting to strangers, you are now among friends.
Be Playful have fun! Smile (I know it’s insanely obvious). Have fun with your room, engage your audience, remember they want you to do well. They don’t want to be bored, they want to be part fo the conversation. I have a mantra when I am running, and I repeatedly say ‘I love this, I love this, I love this’ (I got that from a friend who is an Ironman). It works, it makes me smile, and I do love it (well sometimes I don’t love my run but that’s a topic for another blog).
Getting nervous is unproductive. It’s a waste of time and mental energy.
Today decide it’s not about you, it’s simply a conversation, not a presentation. Show up as the best version of yourself and you will be ah-mazing!
We’d love to hear your thoughts on what you do to overcome your nervous energy, share your ideas with us here on our blog.
Check out my video on ‘Overcoming Nervous Energy When Presenting’ and subscribe to Ah-Maze TV.