A Nervous Nelly Speaker

My husband has been striving to be a speaker for years, it’s only ironic and coincidental that I am a presentation coach. He has spoken at lots of different events including his own business networking groups and several conferences. He always goes through the appropriate steps to prepare properly for a presentation, but often complains about the lack of spunk when practicing. The last conference he spoke at, he realized that the spunk comes from his nervous energy, he reinvests his nervousness and converts it into enthusiasm and spunk. So when he steps on stage the day of the speech, his presentation turns out completely different than it was when he was practicing it because of this newfound energy.

The movie Maid in Manhattan is a cute love story about a maid in a upscale, New York hotel who becomes smitten with a senatorial candidate and the rest is in the movie for you to watch. The senatorial character gives a great example of how he funnels his nervousness down into a paperclip that he holds in his hand. Another fantastic example of how to deal with nervous presenters.

Nervous energy can also come out in a bad way such as pacing, rocking, swaying, and other distracting body movements or facial expressions.

What do you do with nervousness? You prepare and rehearse as best as you can, take a deep breath, and get through the first two minutes. After the first two minutes, your adrenaline decreases dramatically and you will feel more relaxed and comfortable the remainder of your presentation. While fighting through that first two minutes though, think about how you are percieved. Try really hard not to talk too fast or fidget unnecessarily.

It sounds easier than it looks, but I’m certain you will be ok.



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