First off, know that it’s completely normal and natural to be nervous before speaking in front of a group.
We are born with two natural fears: loud noises and falling. The other fears are products of our environment including public speaking.
But you can come across as being completely sure of yourself, even if you can’t completely shake the jitters.
Here are a few tips to help you keep your calm before you take the microphone.
1. Wiggle your toes
Studies show that wiggling your toes reduces stress levels and decreases anxiety.
2. Chat with Your Audience Before Your Presentation
Meet and greet people before you get on stage. Talking with audiences makes you seem more likeable and approachable. Ask event attendees questions and take in their responses. They may even give you some inspiration to weave into your talk.
3. Claim the three “audience realities”.
One: They believe you’re the expert, so don’t tell them otherwise.
Two: They want you to succeed, so they’re on your side.
Three: They won’t know when you make a mistake, so don’t broadcast it.
4. Find a Pre Talk song.
Athletes and entertainers use this strategy to focus before they take the stage, or start their sport.
Find a song that gets you pumped up and listen to it backstage before every talk. It has to be “your song”, a song that gets your adrenaline to the perfect level: It has to give you enough so you’re saying “You’ve got this, (insert your name), they are going to love you”. Any song that can make you feel that way is worth taking a few minutes to listen to before jumping on stage. Many athletes do it, why not you.
Nervousness is a natural reaction to speaking in front of large groups. However, try to think of this emotion as a “readiness to share you”, and a type of excitement that is necessary for you to speak. You’ve been sub-consciously programmed to think that you fear it, so how about intentionally creating how you perceive your nervousness? It’s within your control. That simple change of view can change your whole attitude.
It’s time to use the strategies above and take back control of you nerves each and every time you speak.