A little nervous energy can show that you are passionate and even care about what you are presenting. Too much nervousness will detract from your performance, however, I do believe that if you are not afraid of the outcome, even when competing, you will enjoy the experience and nervousness will not be a factor.
Here are 10 tips we all can use to control nervousness:
- Know The Room: Become familiar with the speaking are before you are called to speak. The view from the speaking area is quite different from the audience view or the view from the back of the room.
- Know You Audience: Meet and if possible greet some of your audience as they arrive. This can help you connect with them as you look out into the audience.
- Know Your Material: In the words of Dr. Ralph C Smedley “A prepared speaker should not be nervous”. Nervousness will increase if you don’t know your material.
- Relax: Get on your feet, stretch a bit before taking to the stage.
- Visualize yourself giving your speech: Harbor positive thoughts. Visualize yourself being successful and you will be successful.
- Think Positive: Audiences don’t want you to fail. Smile and they will smile back at you.
- Don’t apologize: Don’t call attention to any of your slipups. Those slipups may very well have gone unnoticed.
- Focus on the message: When you focus on the message, your attention moves from your anxieties outwardly towards your message and your audience.
- Turn nervousness into positive energy: Add vitality and enthusiasm to harness your nervous energy.
- Gain Experience. Experience Builds confidence: Grasp every opportunity you get to SPEAK. Grasp every opportunity you get to EVALUATE others. That is the key to becoming a better speaker.