With many of us fearing public speaking more than we do our own deaths, its important to have a few tricks up your sleeve to manage the anxiety that comes along with this fear-inducing activity.
This weekend, I was asked to give a presentation for a small networking group on the 4 keys to influence. It was my first time doing this particular presentation and my first time in front of this group.
I've given presentations for larger groups and know that I'm a relatively competent speaker/facilitator, but I still get nervous each and every time I take on the task of leading a group of any size. So how do I manage that fear and anxiety while still performing?
Here's my speakers jitter checklist:
1) Put on my superman cape (aka, dress like a BOSS)
Everyone has their personal version of a superman cape. Mine is a comfortable pair of pants, a ruffled blouse, and a well-cut blazer. Whatever yours is, you need to make sure it's available, clean, and pressed for the big day so you can feel like the powerful beast of a superhero you are.
2) Forgo the morning brew
Caffeine is known to exaggerate our stress response, so I commonly avoid coffee, tea and soda drinks before any stressful event where I need to perform at a high level. Because I'm already feeling stressed, it helps to make sure I don't add insult to injury with coffee.
3) I put on my pre-show playlist
I have compiled myself a great playlist of what I like to call "Boss Music." It's mainly a mixture of Niki Minaj, Beyonce's Sasha Fierce album, and a little Eminem, among others. The music is full of affirmations that I repeat out loud as I sing the playlist on the way to the event.
4) Arrive early and claim the space
It's our natural inclination to feel more comfortable in a space we've become familiar with. By getting to know the space ahead of time, you release some of the fears that naturally occur when we're in a new place. Make sure you know where the entrances are and position yourself in a way that allows you to see when people walk into the room. This will increase your sense of safety and reduce your stress level.
These are a few of my most important jitter relievers. Do you have one that you like to use? Tell me how you relieve your pre-show fears.
The Thing We Fear More Than Death, Psychology Today Blog
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