“It’s YOUR turn!” Yep, the very mini-second we hear someone call our name “… it’s your turn – you’re up!” … is when we’d rather die than step out on stage in front of a bunch of total strangers … Right? You bet!
We’ve all been there before … The butterflies, the locust, the churning acid inside our stomachs! In reality, NERVOUSNESS is a lot like FIRE – it has BOTH the power to DESTROY and the ability to SERVE! Which do you CHOOSE?
Below, I’ve outlined a number of PERSONAL, LOGICAL and MENTAL STEPS for you to study, possibly implement and keep in perspective to help turn all your NERVOUS ENERGY into POSITIVE ACTION ENERGY every time you present or perform!
Here’s How You “Absolutely”
Eliminate Presentation Nervousness!
1. KNOW your SUBJECT ALL TOO WELL! This cannot be stressed enough! STUDY it! PREPARE it! LEARN it! BECOME it! … until your subject/topic becomes SECOND NATURE to your entire BEING!
2. ENTERTAIN your audience … Turn the event/presentation/performance into something both you and your audience will ENJOY! Consider your audience your new FAN BASE (i.e., supporting you while you’re up there, rather than “it’s me against them” kind of attitude …). Your audience is there to ENJOY/BENEFIT from the very information you have to share, … just as much as you will enjoy and/or benefit from giving your presentation/performance to your audience. It’s a WIN-WIN situation every time.
3. Have PASSION for your SUBJECT/TOPIC and your AUDIENCE! … Your attitude? “Hey, listen to me! I’ve something important to say, listen up – this will help/entertain you! Now, let’s get started, shall we?!?!”
4. PRACTICE makes PERFECT every time! SPEAK as OFTEN as you can! Lesson to learn: Imagine how great your presentation/performance would be if you were to give 1,000 presentations/performances … Pretty good, right? Better believe it!
5. WATCH and STUDY as many presenters/performers as you can. MODEL the positive presenters/performers you like. Incorporate the little things they do with your own personal style. Also, make special note of those things they do that you do not like and remember not to repeat their mistakes when you give your presentation. Lesson to learn: Imagine how great your presentation/performance would be if you could observe over 1,000 presentations/performances by others of different subjects, styles and levels of profession … Pretty good, right? Better believe it! Goal: Better and better yourself with every presentation/performance given and observed.
6. THROW IT AWAY! GIVE IT YOUR BEST SHOT and DON’T WORRY! ... If they don’t get it – and you DID YOUR BEST – you DID a GREAT JOB anyway! Just GET UP THERE, DO IT and HAVE FUN with it!
7. ROLE PLAY every chance you get! Again, PRACTICE makes PERFECT! Stand up and talk out loud (to an empty shower stall, rehearse in the car, imagine yourself speaking while waiting in line at the grocery store. Role play every chance you get.
8. VISUALIZE yourself on stage and loving it! … VISUALIZE yourself having fun with your audience. VISUALIZE successful presentations every time!
9. VISUALIZE your audience LOVING what you have to say and benefiting from the information/presentation you have to share with them! VISUALIZE the applause! (The confirmation that your presentation/performance was well-received!)
10. ENJOY the RUSSSHHH! … Take all that NERVOUS ENERGY and TURN IT right into ACTIVE/ACTION ENERGY in every presentation and performance from this day forward! If that wasn’t enough to make you into the rock star speaker you are to become, here are a few more tips for you when it comes to eliminating presentation nervousness:
11. KNOW THE ROOM … Study it before you step up on stage. Walk around the room, walk to the very front, back and side to side of the room. Get the “lay of the land. Then, step on stage and get a feel for where you’ll be speaking from. Walk around the stage; walk from one side to another, back and forth from the front to the back. Before you know it? That stage and that room, will be all … you! You will be one with the room when you speak; relaxing you plenty for your presentation … If you know where you’ll be sitting, before you’re called to speak, plan ahead, know which way you’ll take to get to the front of the room or to reach the stage. You don’t want to go down some long aisle only to find out there’s no way for you to get on stage other than jumping over a table, a chair or leaping five feet in the air … So, know the room you’re speaking in.
12. KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE … Who are you speaking for? Can you meet some of the audience members before you speak? It’s always nice to speak to some of the people who will be sitting in the audience before you get up to speak. Knowing people in the crowd by name (because you met them) helps a lot when it comes to removing the nervousness of not knowing any one. So, meet and greet some of the folks you’ll be speaking to. They’ll enjoy meeting you too, before you go on stage. Imagine, walking up there to speak and you already have a handful of eager fans wanting you to succeed!
13. NEVER APOLOGIZE FOR BEING NERVOUS … This is a must, never admit to feeling nervous, just go on with the show. If you tell people you’re nervous, they’ll be nervous for you (as well) and won’t truly in enjoy your presentation. Besides, after you get started, 99.99% of the people in the audience won’t even notice you’re nervous unless … you forget your name or what you speaking about; which won’t happen to you at all. Because? You won’t be nervous at all.
14. FOCUS ON YOUR MISSION (MESSAGE) … Remember, you’re there to speak with purpose. You’re there to deliver a presentation, in which people will learn more about the topic you’re talking about. Step up, and speak with conviction, drive and purpose. As if you’re on a mission from God to spread your message from town to town; from coast to coast; from sea to shining sea. I’m not kidding!
15. TURN NERVOUSNESS INTO FUN, ENTHUSIASM & POSITIVE ENERGY … Hey, you might as well get up there and sing and dance your way through your presentation. Well, unless you’re singing a real song or dancing, the point here is to have fun. Turn that nervousness into the kind of positive energy that’ll make you shine. Smile, HAVE FUN and enjoy yourself, you’re among friends who can’t wait to hear what you have to say … I know I would if I were in the audience listening to you speak … Go for it, you’re an awesome speaker!
That’s it! I hope this little list of tips helps you better your presentation/performance.