When Do You Stop Getting Nervous About Presenting?

I was running a workshop for one of my clients recently.  The workshop was all about being an effective presenter.

As I always do on these workshops I get delegates to introduce themselves, talk about their biggest presentation challenge and what they want most from the workshop.

Almost without exception nerves and feeling less nervous is always something that comes up.

One question that was asked by a delegate was whether I get nervous before presenting.

The honest answer is yes.  Every presenter no matter how experienced gets nervous.

You never ever get to that point where you stop getting nervous about presenting.

What you learn to accept is that it’s part and parcel of presenting.  You also learn to manage your nerves.

So what would be my top tips for presenting effectively even if you get nervous?

Accept that being nervous is just part and parcel of presenting

It’s a slightly pressurised situation.  You may feel you are being judged.  The stakes might be a little higher.

Accepting that this is just how it is helps you acknowledge how it is.

Keep it in perspective

It’s a presentation.  It’s not life or death.  It doesn’t need to be perfect. 

The worst than can happen is that it doesn’t go as well as you like.  Even in those situations there’s always a lot of learning.

Learn some techniques to manage your nerves

Take some time to learn some techniques to manage your nerves.

Deep breathing is often helpful.  Visualisation is something that’s used by many high performers. Recalling a positive past event can get you in a more positive frame of mind.

Choose what works best for you.

Take the time to be really well prepared

There’s sometimes this illusion that some people are just naturals when it comes to presenting.

The reality is they have just put in the time to prepare really well.

When we are prepared we are much better placed to deal with nerves than we are if we try to wing it.

The Bottom Line: Nerves keep you on your toes.  Use them productively to deliver the best presentation you can rather than allowing them to get in the way of effectively presenting.