Being nervous is normal and can occur to anyone, however, if not managed correctly, nerves can blow away life changing opportunities. For those looking for new employment, their defining moment may be an interview. On the other hand, the defining moment for those who run their businesses may be when they have a business meeting with a valued client. Outside of this, politicians have to give speeches to the electorate while TV personalities have to read the news daily.
In summary, all of us are likely to encounter similar pressuring situations at one time or another. When this happens, you should not let nervousness steal your success from you.
Here are some steps that you can take to ensure that nervousness does not get in the way of your success.
Prepare for the moment
While this may sound obvious, preparing for your big moment will help your nerves to be more relaxed, and will allow you to feel more confident about your ability. Before the material day, you should go over the content and practice the presentation a number of times. As much as you may not do it perfectly, this will help you to familiarise yourself with the content. If you have a meeting or interview coming up, try to think of what may be discussed or asked. Even if you just have a date, think of some topics to talk about when the conversation no longer flows naturally.
Visualise in a positive way
Before attending that important meeting, date or interview, visualising the situation in a positive way can help to manage your nervousness. Being in unfamiliar surroundings could add to the nervousness and anxiety that one feels. Take time to sit in a quiet place and play out the whole scenario in your mind. Try to think of how great it would be if you confidently faced your audience and addressed them perfectly. Afterwards, think about the desired outcomes that being confident brought about. Try this out a couple of times and see how confidently and relaxed you will walk into that classroom or conference hall.
Get some professional help
When the steps mentioned do not produce any tangible results, you can seek professional help to enable you to overcome nervousness. One of the measures that you can take is to attend public speaking courses. These classes will help you to gain the confidence required to stand and speak in front of people. Similarly, the classes will equip you with the relevant public speaking skills.
Professional help may also be in the form of attending anxiety counselling sessions, going for behavioural therapy sessions or taking the necessary medication for anxiety. All these treatment options will help to calm your nerves, effectively helping you to deal with nervousness. However, seeking this type of help will require that you seek the attention of a qualified and licensed psychologist or psychiatrist.
Know your material
Nothing causes more nervousness than giving a presentation on a topic you know little about. However, this does not mean that you have to be an expert in that field. All you need to do is to understand your audience and structure the presentation to meet their needs. Another important point to keep in mind is to ensure that you stick to the most important points of the presentation. Covering everything will make the presentation long and boring, a factor that may make you more nervous. It’s important to keep the presentation interesting and memorable.
Nervousness usually results in an increase of adrenaline in the body. To deal with the effects of adrenaline, there are some things that you can do. When attending an interview, or giving a speech, try to practice deep and relaxed breathing. This will supply the brain with oxygen and allow you to be calmer. Moreover, taking sips of water occasionally will keep your mouth hydrated and reduce the possibility of being tongue-tied. Moreover, smiling at your audience will help to diffuse any nervousness that may threaten to ruin your big moment.
Get enough sleep
Sleep deprivation has been found to have a significant effect on physical and mental processes. As such, lack of adequate sleep can result in anxiety and significantly affect nervousness. Thought processes can suffer greatly when you are anxious or are under stress. As such, when you do not get enough sleep, you may be nervous without noticing that your nervousness is not natural. Before going for a big event, speaking in front of a big audience or going on a date, getting a full night’s rest will help to make you calmer.
All in all, taking the necessary steps to calm your nerves and deal with nervousness will improve your public speaking skills. So why don’t you try the tips and seize your next life-changing opportunity?