Are You a Shy Entrepreneur? Here Are 3 Proven Techniques to Beat Stage Fright

3 Proven Ways to Overcome Stage Fright as a shy entrepreneur

One of the challenges faced by shy entrepreneurs and professionals is the severe anxiety that comes with making presentations. As an entrepreneur, however, there are several occasions, like pitching to prospective customers, motivating your team or giving your signature talk at a conference, that call for you to take the stage. These are opportunities that must be excellently delivered as a failure to be convincing can result in loss of business or a disengaged team.

Sadly, this is exactly what happens when you are worried you might make a mistake, sound boring, or that the audience will boo at you or be unresponsive during your presentation. These fears usually ruin your presentation and portray you as unprofessional - because often, when you are so worried about doing something that will mar your entire presentation, you end up doing so.

Fortunately, you don’t have to let your current social awkwardness interfere with your business success. There are steps you can take to ensure you ace your business presentations even as a shy entrepreneur. These are proven techniques for overcoming stage fright which work for both shy introverts and shy extroverts. Apply them and you will reap the results of a successful presentation.

3 Effective Ways to Calm Your Nerves and Give A Wonderful Presentation:

1. Be Prepared.

As with all things, successful business presentations are the result of intense preparation. According to Zig Ziglar, “you were born to win, but to be a winner, you must plan to win, prepare to win, and expect to win.” Invest quality time and effort into planning your presentation. Research, select and organize relevant points to talk about; rehearse (not memorize) your presentation severally in front of a mirror, a supportive family or friend. Procure and ready any demo aids you will need. When you know your material well, your confidence level takes a boost. 

Successful business presentations are the result of intense preparation.

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2. Practice Visualization.

If you can see it, you can become it. Few days before your presentation, visualize yourself giving a phenomenal speech. Begin from when you get called up to the stage. See yourself walk up to the stage confidently, the audience clapping gleefully. Visualize the space you’re in – the hall, podium, and technical equipment are in perfect order.

You open your mouth, and like oil, your opening lines flow seamlessly, carried in the beauty of your voice which fills the entire room.  Imagine your audiences soaking in every drop of that oil as you give a sensational presentation. You’re driving home your points gracefully, convincingly and keeping to time.

Now imagine you’re through and the audiences asking important questions. You answer each one satisfactorily and with poise. There’s a thunderous ovation as you make your way back to your seat. How do you feel? After taking a client through this exercise, they often report that they feel more confident and successful.

Visualization is effective because your brain doesn't know the difference between the real presentation and the imagined one. Thus if you do this exercise 2-3 times before the actual one, public speaking will feel like something you do easily, thus reducing your speech anxiety.

3. Identify Your Anxious Thought Pattern.

Every feeling is powered by a thought. Positive emotions are bred by positive thoughts while negative thoughts give rise to negative emotions. If you have strong fear regarding your presentation, you’re most likely entertaining a lot of negative thoughts. To beat stage fright, therefore, you need to identify and replace those thoughts with positive, empowering thoughts.

To identify your anxious thoughts complete these sentences:

  • I’m afraid of giving this presentation because _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _  _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 
  • I’m afraid of giving this presentation because _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _  _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 
  • I’m afraid of giving this presentation because_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _  _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 
  • I’m worried that _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
  • I’m worried that _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
  • I’m worried that _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

When you underscore your negative thoughts, create empowering thoughts that counter them, and implant them in your mind by repeating them to yourself first thing when you awake in the morning and just before you sleep at night. This exercise will boost your confidence in your ability to deliver a successful presentation.

As you start to implement these techniques, your confidence to speak will exponentially grow.

Want more techniques to Beat Stage Fright for Good so you can impress with your next presentation, get a copy of my book, Your Complete Guide to Beat Stage for Good here.

Arrange for presentation skills training for your team here or individual speech coaching here.

What other techniques have you used to control stage fright as a shy entrepreneur? Leave a comment below

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