As speakers we all know that just before we get ready to stand before an audience we can become very nervous. This just seems to be a part of life despite the importance of public speaking. However, here’s the big question – why do we become so nervous all of the time and what can we do about it?
Becoming Nervous Because Of The Situation
The #1 reason that you and I may become nervous before our next speech is simply because we fear standing before and talking to this particular audience in this room right now. There can be a whole bunch of reasons why: it’s a big audience, we’ve never been in this place before, etc.
When this happens, we need transform the speaking event into an event that won’t make us nervous. Generally, when we’re talking with friends we are not nervous. That’s why you need to mentally recast the speech that you are just about to give in this strange place to a speech that you would have with a group of close friends in a more comfortable setting.
Becoming Nervous Because Of The Audience
Another reason that we may become nervous before we give a speech is because we don’t know the audience that we’ll be talking to. Are these important people? Are these people who may know more about your topic than you do?
There’s no simple way to tackle this challenge. However, if you sit down before the speech and think it through you can make yourself less nervous. Picture yourself delivering a great speech, your audience enjoying what you are saying, and you receiving a standing ovation when you are done. Simply by mentally “seeing” all of this happen, you’ll feel yourself becoming more calm when it comes time to deliver the speech because you’ll feel that you’ve already done it once before.
Becoming Nervous Because Of Your Goal
Every speech that we give is done for a reason. We always have some goal that we are trying to accomplish – there is something that we want. The more that we think about how important achieving this goal is, the more nervous we may become if we start to spend too much time thinking about what will happen if we are not able to convince our audience to support our goal.
The trick to becoming less nervous about your goal is to find ways to focus on the here and now and not the future. It’s really what’s going to happen in the future that is going to make you nervous. This means that you are going to want to focus on what’s going on in your speech right now and that will push thoughts of the future off to the side and thus reduce your nervousness.
What All Of This Means For You
I’ve got some bad news about being nervous for you – it’s just a normal part of life. As speakers we always seem to become nervous before we get ready to give a speech. What we want to do is to find ways to deal with this feeling so that we can share the benefits of public speaking with our audience.
It turns out that there are three different reasons that we become nervous before a speech: the situation, the audience, and the goals that we want to accomplish. Each of these sources of nervousness can be dealt with in order to decrease their impact.
We will never be able to not be nervous before a speech – we are human after all. However, if you follow the tips that we’ve covered then the next time that you give a speech you should be just a little bit less nervous!
– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Public Speaking Skills™
Question For You: Do you think that you should try to do your mental picturing just before you speak or the day before?
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Note: What we talked about are advanced speaking skills. If you are just starting out I highly recommend joining Toastmasters in order to get the benefits of public speaking. Look for a Toastmasters club to join in your home town by visiting the web site www.Toastmasters.org. Toastmasters is dedicated to helping their members to understand the importance of public speaking by developing listening skills and getting presentation tips. Toastmasters is how I got started speaking and it can help you also!
What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time
When we take a look at all of the things that can hold us back from becoming the great speaker that we want to be, what always seems to be at the top of the list? More often than not, it’s a fear of public speaking. There can be many reasons for this fear, but one of the main culprits is always a bad case of shyness. Here’s what you can do to overcome this.