how to not be nervous before a presentation

How to Not Be Nervous Before a Presentation

Do you have a presentation coming up? Are you feeling a bit nervous?

Well, you’re not alone. At least 77% of people report that public speaking is at “phobia level” for them. And likely those are just the people telling the truth. 

The folks who aren’t nervous have learned the techniques to be calm cool and collected. You know the ones. They get up there and exude a bit of the old executive presence.

They speak concisely and at a normal rate of speech. They persuade you without your even noticing!

It's normal to be nervous before a presentation.

So you guessed it. It’s completely normal to be nervous before a speech.

Actually, it’s genetics! We are genetically programmed to be fearful of strangers & groups of people. Not so long ago, the chance of strangers trying to do you some harm was very likely.

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We hung out in tribes. Other tribes were competition. Yeah. So fight or flight is the typical way people react to public speaking. It’s up to us to change that. It’s up to us to actually learn how not to be nervous. 

how to not be nervous before a presentation

Imagine if they taught you to not be nervous in school? How cool would that be?

Presentation skills aren’t taught in school. In fact every few years they used to tell kids that a presentation is due and that they had to go home and work on it. The teachers never helped! The presentation would be due on a particular day and the students have to present cold. 

But now they’ve removed presenting from the curriculum altogether! (It’s up to you to help your children not be nervous before speaking to an audience–send them to me, I can help! It will save them lots of trouble in the future.)

So the fear and anxiety build up until it becomes a phobia! Here you are, too nervous to tell your incredible tale to the audience that needs to hear it.

Have no fear! Follow these 6 steps to not be nervous before a presentation.

How to not be nervous before and during a presentation.

Public speaking is a skill you can develop. Just follow these steps:

  1. Be relaxed.
  2. Love your audience.
  3. Give them the info they need to know.
  4. Have an inspiring song in your head as you walk on stage.
  5. Keep your arms open and hands visible.
  6. Consider your body language and facial expressions.

I’ll go over each of these in more detail below. Please proceed.

how to not be nervous before a presentation

Ah, the shame of feeling nervous.

Not only are we genetically wired to go into fight or flight when we’re faced with groups of people (and many other times), and we weren’t taught a darn thing about being relaxed anywhere in our schooling… 

But guess what else? There’s another reason that most normal people are nervous before and during presentations.

We feel shame when something comes out of our mouths not as beautifully as intended. We actually feel, as a society that we should be able to think a thought, get this, think a thought, and have that thought come out mellifluously.

Let me say this again. We have an idea crystallized in our minds. “Ooh! What a brilliant idea I have!”

Then when we let it come out of our mouths it’s jibber-jabber. Then we think “What the fork? Why didn’t it come out just as I thought it!?”

Everything we’re good at we’ve learned and practiced.

Allow me to retort. The reason it didn’t come out as you thought it is because you didn’t learn the techniques to SPEAKING IT.

Every single thing you’re good at, you’ve worked on! Every single thing. Yet you berate yourself for not getting the words out perfectly without learning and practicing the techniques. 

Picture this: Someone hands you a cello. You’ve never seen one up close. You pick it up, try to make some notes and you sound like fingernails on a chalkboard. You get so depressed, you bury your head in the sand and vow never to pick up the cello again. 

Can you even imagine feeling that way about your career? Sports you play? Would you ever feel humiliated if you didn’t do something really, really well without learning the techniques and practicing?! 

No. You wouldn’t.

6 Steps to Not Be Nervous

  1.  Be Relaxed. Learn some relaxation exercises. I have some fantastic ones. You can come to me, or you can go online to find some. Make being relaxed a habit. I teach all of my clients to FindYourRelaxedPlace in every communicative situation of their lives.

    You’ll need to do your relaxation exercises for a few weeks for them to stick. The best way to do this is to make BeingInYourRelaxedPlace a habit in your life. 

  2. Love Your Audience.
    I talk about loving your audience all over this blog. Once you let go of worrying that everyone in the audience doesn’t like you or thinks you’re dumb and realize you’re just here for your listeners, your skills will improve a thousand-fold.

  3. Once you remove the focus from yourself & think only about what the audience knows & what they need to know from you, you don’t worry about whether your audience will like you.
  4. Pick a song that motivates you and walk onto the stage with that song in your head. Stepping to the beat. (Subtly) Dancing onto the stage. How’s about a little JT “Can’t Stop the Feeling” Or “Staying Alive” by the Bee Gees. I’m telling you the dancing thing works!

  5. Keep your arms wide open for 10 minutes before your speech. Keep your arms open as you walk out on stage. A relaxed body will make it so you’ll not be nervous at all. You’ll feel happy!

    When your body is closed, you lose control over yourself & have no control over others. We need to control others! Not to do evil things! Please don’t do that. But we need people to believe that we’re experts in our wheelhouses. We need to control them enough to get them to understand our message & follow our call-to-action.  

  6. As you walk on stage, make sure you lead with your core & not your head. It would help if you did this throughout your life. Your Body Language can control your emotions. Use them to your advantage.

Let me do this for you. You and I can get this done in a ridiculously short time.

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You can defeat the nervousness forces!

Don’t let the forces of fight or flight, lack of education in grammar and high school, and shame of not doing something perfectly stop you from being an incredible public speaker.

It’s super easy to learn the techniques. You can take The Voice Spa online video course. It will change your life.

The Voice Spa trains you to be habitually relaxed in high-stake situations. You can learn to be relaxed during interviews, public speaking, making small talk with someone who makes you nervous, going on a first date, the list of high-stakes situations is nearly endless.

The people who are powerful, magnetic, and convincing public speakers have already learned the techniques and are crushing their TED talks and their shark tank appearances.

So don’t wait too long!

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5 thoughts on “How to Not Be Nervous Before a Presentation”

  1. Hi,
    Your tips are great! I identified a lot with the second tip. Beyond love, the domain of the content to be worked counts a lot.
    Breathing is my relaxation technique before and during the presentation. Helps keep you focused. Meditation also helps a lot.

  2. I had no idea that we were genetically programmed to be fearful of groups of people. Very interesting. I will have to try singing a song in my head and moving to the beat during the next time I have to give a presentation in front of my colleagues.

  3. Kinda genius the Love your audience thing. I never really thought about it but I always worry about what everyone thinks of me instead of the other way around.

    I’m excited to try this. I’m hoping I can keep my self-sabotaging thoughts out of my head!

    And putting a favorite song in your head when your onstage is a great one!

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