Overcoming Nervousness

Here’s what you can do to overcome nerves before you speak in public.

It is natural to be nervous before a public appearance.  Every professional entertainer experiences some kind of “butterflies” before a performance.  The symptoms are usually a nervous stomach, perspiring, shifting eyes, death grip on chairs . . .

What can you do about it?

  • Practice a few relaxation exercises before you go on – rolling your neck, swinging your arms, stretching.
  • Take a deep breath, hold it for three-five seconds, let it out slowly.
  • Stand naturally with your feet shoulder-width apart, your hands loose and relaxed.  Then shake your hands and arms, letting the vibration work itself into the rest of your body.
  • Nervousness adds adrenaline to your system – it can make you sharper and quicker – use it.
  • Think of nervousness as a way of ensuring that you are “up” for the presentation.
  • The best way to combat nervousness is to come prepared for the situation by knowing your subject matter and the major points you need to make.

Where in the World is Anthony?

Spoke this morning in Minneapolis to Realtor association communications directors from all over the country. Q&A tip 64: Avoid trailing off at the end of sentences. Make eye contact and end strong.

Spoke yesterday to Florida Realtors; today to California IT managers; tomorrow, I'm in Minneapolis. Presenting tip 72: Storytelling is a powerful tool. It helps visualize complex ideas, and it provides that much needed connection to the audience.

Spoke yesterday to financial executives. Business development tip number 1 for all my many construction-industry clients: THE two most important people to winning new projects are your Project Manager and Superintendent. But are you preparing them effectively for interviews?

Spoke today in Chicago at a sales and marketing conference. News interview tip 9: Long-winded answer leads to being "taken out of context." Keep responses 10-12 seconds and significantly reduce the chance your comments will be misinterpreted.

Speaking in Chicago tomorrow. Crisis Communications tip 44: Don't let outside groups hijack your social media efforts. Build a base of supporters in the good times who will rally to your defense in the bad.

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