3 ways to handle presentation anxiety and nerves

Frankie Kemp

21 March 2021

If you’re nervous before you present, you’re in good company.  It shows you care. Even the most experienced public speakers and actors suffer from a degree of anxiety before appearing in front of their audience.  John Lennon used to vomit before performing.

Actress, Emma Roberts declared, “”I have stage fright. I can’t ever do theater because I would pee my pants.”

Whether I’m improvising or speaking on a keynote, I still undergo a degree of nervous energy.

These three techniques either in isolation or as a combination can help you to control nerves instead of them controlling you:

  1. Call it Circular Breathing, Box Breathing or Trigger Breathing, it’s all the same and can calm you down even while you’re walking around or waiting to speak . Regular practice has proven to increase resilience.
  2. Power Posing is so effective that you’ll generate more self-composure with 2 minutes.  You can change the pose within those minutes but ensure that it’s genuinely connected to a real moment when you’ve felt the way you desire to feel before this presentation.  That may be confidence, but could equally be freedom, control or any other desired emotion.
  3. You can use your nerves to flip the message you give to yourself .  Nerves generate the same physiological response as excitement.  So how do you go from one to the other?  Talk to yourself differently.

Your Action Step:

  1. Whenever you get nervous or anxious, use one of these techniques and feel the difference it makes.
  2. To increase the effect or compare it, use another method another time or combine them.

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