As the whole world battles the Covid-19, it’s understandable why some folks are on a serious panic mode. Of course, it is even more understandable for people who live in countries and cities where cases of infected persons have been recorded.
But if you’re like me – currently living or visiting a city where there are no known cases, I’d encourage you to stay very cautious... but don’t panic.
When people panic, people get hurt – and that by the commotion their panic caused not due to the factor they were panicking about in the first place.
So, stay cautious but don’t get overwhelmed by the crisis. This too shall pass.
Speaking of panic, if you get really nervous and panicky right before you have to make your way to the stage, I’ve got a word for you! (Someone is in church mood ).
If you notice your hands are shaking too much, don’t hold anything. Put your notes down on the lectern once you get on stage. This is because when you hold your notes as your hands are shaking, the shaking paper in your hand will give you away.
I'd advice even that instead of writing your speech outline on a long A4-length paper, a better option would be to use cut-out cards to write out your speaking points. Cardboard sheets work well. They are thicker than your average paper and because you’ve cut them into small squares, they won’t shake as much (if they do at all) when holding them.
Secondly, don’t start talking immediately you get on the podium. This is because your voice will be ‘shaky’ as well. Give yourself about 10 seconds to take everything in, calm a bit, before proceeding to make your presentation.
While you’re waiting on your nerves to settle down, you can motion/encourage your audience to stand up and clap by clapping yourself. This has a couple of advantages.
- no one notices your shaky limbs when you’re clapping, and,
- that’s a great way to capture your audience’s attention in those first few seconds.
As you’re doing this, quickly reset your mind using one of the 24 stage fright affirmations [depending on the negative thought(s) in your head at this moment]:
- I speak with clarity and authority
- My audience loves me and are inspired by me
- Thoughts and words come easily to me
- Today, I’m going to have great results
Note: If you haven't already, download the Stage Fright Affirmations e-book here.
Finally, begin your presentation on a high note. If you had carefully prepared and rehearsed your delivery before now (you should!), don’t try to change your content because of your nerves. Use your outline, and you’ll be fine.
Start. Focus on adding value to your audience. They will be inspired.
Btw, I love hearing from you.
What is your current challenge with presentation/public speaking? Please let me know by commenting below
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