Most speakers feel a bit nervous before going up on stage. The more seasoned speakers experience this as extra energy to add to their presentation. But when you’re a newer speaker, you may not be quite there yet. Tommy John, makers of men’s “under layers,” recently released an infographic that I think will help you overcome some of your nervous systems … at least until you get your butterflies flying in formation!
Before I share the infographic, I’d like to go into more detail — from a speaker’s perspective — on some of the tips.
Symptom: Talking too fast and stumbling over your words.
This can happen to the best of us, especially if we are excited to share our information with our audience. I know, even when I’m not feeling nervous, I can sometimes struggle with this one. Two ways to overcome this is to be prepared and to become aware of your breath.
Preparation — that is you’ve practiced your presentation until you have it down cold — helps alleviate nerves caused by being unsure of what to say. When you are confident in your message, you can speak more confidently.
When you are nervous, you are more likely to take shallow breaths. Learn to breathe deeply and slowly, from the diaphragm, so that you can calm yourself from the “outside in,” as I like to say. You can actually fool your body into calming down by behaving in a calm manner.
Symptom: Nervous fidgeting or shaking.
This — or its opposite (standing stone still) — can kill a presentation. One way to alleviate this is to practice some of your presentation’s body language so that you can program it into your muscle memory. Breathing deeply can also calm the jitters down.
Symptom: Stomach upset
One of the speakers I interviewed for Public Speaking Super Powers actually threw up during her first presentation. Another fainted. So don’t worry if you experience a little stomach upset before a presentation. Drinking enough water to keep you hydrated will help. So will positive visualization before your speech.