Own Your Audience: How to Deal with Nerves

I’ve given a lot of presentations in my lifetime, and personally I love speaking in front of crowds, but I know I’m in the minority. For most people, speaking in front of crowds can be nerve-racking. What if you screw up? Is your fly down? ARE THEY LISTENING? Uncertainties can eat you alive as you fumble through, but public speaking does not have to be stressful or terrifying. Everyone gets nervous, but here are a few tips on how calm your nerves and focus on owning your audience.

Own Your Audience

Dealing with Nerves

Nervousness impacts people differently. I’m always giddy and excited before a presentation.As soon as I start talking, my excitement dissipates and it’s smooth sailing through the end. I look at each presentation as a new opportunity to share my knowledge and gain new followers. It is also a step toward solidifying a new opportunity or making a new connection. So for me, presentations are a great thing.

You many not realize it, but everyone has their own unique and corky way of dealing with nerves. Some people can’t eat, others get sleepy and there are those unfortunately folks who start chewing their nails off (the republican is one of these people).

Next time you’re about to go on stage, or setting up to present to your superiors at work, take a second to assess your behavior. What are you doing differently? How do nerves affect you? It’s important to know how pressure affects you so you can work to combat it.

Nervousness is Your Friend

Think of it this way. Nerves are actually a good thing and they can help you succeed. Are you nervous when you make breakfast in the morning? Nope. Breakfast isn’t something we necessarily care a lot about, it’s just something we do. Nerves indicate you care about the results of your actions. Whether it’s a person who makes you nervous or talking in front of a bunch of people the common denominator is you care. If you don’t care about your presentation, then why are you giving it?

Practice, Practice, Practice.

Nerves are brought on by the unknown and the feeling of uncertainty. Do I know my speech is going to go flawlessly before I give it? No. Practically anything could happen, and don’t think it won’t. Practice is the number one remedy for combatting nerves. By Rehearsing and becoming familiar with the topic, you begin to remove the unknown from your life. Do not make the mistake of reading verbatim. Practice allows you to become comfortable with the content and then gain the confidence to ad lib through the rest.

It Get’s Easier

You know how I said, I only get nervous in the beginning and then the nerves fade? Public speaking, like any other practiced skill gets easier over time. While I’ve always been a confident person, speaking has become easier because I continue to put myself in situations which require me to be center stage. There is no better way to conquer a fear, than tackling it head on.

Realistic Run-Throughs

Cheat the process by practicing with a live audience. By creating a realistic simulation, you can gain valuable insight to strong and weak points in your presentation. Ask your co-workers, friends, or family members to sit through your presentation. Treat them like a real audience and give it your all. Presnting in front of people – no matter if you know them, or not can help conquer nerves.

Record Yourself

I’m always surprised by what my voice sounds like on recording. I recently gave an on-camera interview and was shocked at what I sounded like. In my mind, I don’t I don’t take myself very seriously, but on camera I come across as very serious and well versed. Who Knew? Set up a recording during a practice session or ask someone to record your presentation. You can learn a lot from watching yourself present.

Still not sold on public speaking? Find more awesome public speaking advice here: speaking.io

Photo via www.jim-harvey.com

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