We are often asked by delegates “How can we control nerves”? Interestingly, people believe if they are nervous they will be seen by the audience as nervous. From our filming of thousands of delegates there is usually no visual evidence of them – so don’t worry how you’re looking because your nerves are probably not showing.
In fact, having nerves is a positive thing because it shows we are in touch with our feelings. And feelings help us to connect with our audience. It’s when nerves take us over and we’re worried more about ourselves than our audience that the problems start. Our first concern must always be our audience.
So how do we learn to control nerves? There’s a number of ways. All audiences want you to succeed otherwise they have a miserable time. Remember you are the expert on your presentation subject. And so long as you’ve thought about the needs of your audience your message should be important to them. You must aim to know more than your audience on the subject you’re speaking about. This takes time, research and effort.
The more you practise the better you become. If you practise a presentation 3 times you will be more relaxed and the presentation will flow more easily. If you rehearse 6 times it will be embedded in your mind. You will be more confident, fluent and passionate.
“Nerves and butterflies are fine. The trick is to get the butterflies to fly in formation.” Steve Bull