Fighting Nerves When You’re In Front of An Audience

WRITTEN November 10, 2016 Author: Jen Glantz

When speaking in front of an audience, it’s very common to feel a wave of nerves intercept your brain and your body. Make sure you have the tools for fighting nerves.

Once you find yourself making eye contact with a room of people, you may find yourself battling nervous shakes or experiencing a mental block that makes your organized thoughts suddenly disappear. That’s when you’ll enter flight or fight mode, where you have two distinct choices: you can run off toward the exit sign or you can find a way to push your public speaking jitters to the corner of the room.

Tips For Fighting Nerves

Take a Deep Breath. Relax before you begin speaking by taking a series of deep breathes. You’ll find that your whole body will feel more positive and prepared once you focus on your breathing before speaking your first word.

Talk to Members of the Audience. Get to know the people who you’ll be speaking to. That will help you feel more comfortable once you know that your audience members are just ordinary people like you.

Get There Early. Familiarize yourself with the space that you’ll spend time speaking at, whether it’s a room, stage, or conference room. That way, you’ll be able to practice how you can fully use the space to engage your audience.

Visualize Success. Think positive thoughts about how the speech will go instead of honing in on negative thoughts regarding the overall experience or the outcome of your presentation.

Slow Down. Pause between every new thought to help you combat your stage fright and to also allow your audience to understand your ideas and process your information.

When you’re doing your public speaking preparation, make sure to spend some time practicing how you’re going to fight away the nerves on the big day. If you come up with a combination of techniques that work best for you, you’ll notice your comfort level rise with every minute you find yourself in front of the room.

Photo courtesy of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

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