Managing Your Nerves When Presenting At Work

You know that being able to present is essential to achieving success in your career.

One question I’m often asked is whether I still get nervous when I stand up to present.

The answer is always the same.

A resounding yes.

Nerves are part and parcel of presenting.

Those who claim they don’t get nervous are either being economical with the truth or perhaps just don’t care enough about the topic or information they are presenting.

And if you the presenter don’t care then why should your audience care.

Nerves themselves are neither good nor bad

What matters is how you deal with nerves.

I truly believe that you get the chance to choose.

You can choose to use nerves positively to enhance your performance.

Or you can choose to allow nerves to put you on mute or negatively impact on your performance.

What you can do to manage your nerves

Be well prepared for every presentation.  If you plan, prepare and practice your presentation you will deliver a better presentation.

Trouble is professionals often like to get on with things.

Think about that new housing development or office block that is being constructed and you pass every day on your way to work.

For a long time you see a lot of people and machinery but no building structure.

Then one day you pass the site and the structure of the building is starting to appear.

What was happening all of those months when there was lots of people and machinery visible but not visible structure?

The foundations were being laid so that a building could be put up that would stay up.

Your preparation for your presentation is the equivalent of those building foundations.

Breathing to reduce anxiety.  Taking a number of deep slow breaths can change the overall feeling in your body and make you feel more relaxed.

Speak to anyone who does pilates or yoga and they will show you the right way to breathe so that you can use the right technique.

Visualise being successful.  Read anything about successful sports people and you will see that visualisation is an important part of their success routine.

Essentially it’s about going through the whole presentation in your mind visualising yourself navigating through the various stages and achieving what you set out to accomplish.

In truth there are always going to be nerves when it comes to presenting.  The decision you have to make whether you will use these nerves to push you to even better performance or hold you back from achieving what you know you are capable of achieving.

What’s your top tip for managing nerves when presenting?

About the Author Duncan Brodie

Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 8,000 accountants and professionals in workshops, seminars and one to one helping them land their next jobs and become better leaders, presenters and business partners. Before that I spent 25 years in accountancy climbing the career ladder from Payments Clerk to FD. I’m a CIMA Fellow, Certified Professional Coach and Team Coach Facilitator.

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