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Controlling your public speaking nervousness
August 06, 2013
Do you "control" your public speaking nervousness?
The fear of public speaking is greater than the fear of death.
Whether this statement is true or not - I cannot deny the fact that most of the executives that I know, get VERY nervous when they have to give a public presentation to a superior who is two, three, or more levels above their organizational hierarchy.
Most - if not all - of the executives I know, consistently use these words when they are about to give an important presentation:
"I must control my nervousness"
Why is it wrong to control your nervousness while you are giving a presentation?
Please let me use an analogy:
What do you do when you have a pressure cooker on your stove?
Do you keep its lid shut until it explodes?
Or do you let the steam flow out gradually instead?
Here is another analogy:
What do you feel when you are about to give an extremely important work-related speech in front of an intimidating audience? Do you feel "butterflies"? Do you feel fear? Do you feel nervousness? Do you feel all of the above?
Now - let me switch gears …
Think about your dream vacation. Let's assume that you have saved money for the last two years in order to take your dream vacation - and today you are about to go on to that vacation.
What do you feel when you are about to embark on such vacation? Do you feel excitement? Do you feel joy? Do you feel euphoria? Do you feel all of the above?
BUT - stop for a moment and think about it …
What do you feel in your stomach - at the gut level - when you are about to deliver an extremely important speech?
And what do you feel in your stomach - at the gut level - when you are about to embark on to your dream vacation?
In your stomach - in both circumstances - you feel exactly the same thing at the gut level: you feel energy.
That's right: You feel raw and pure energy.
When you are about to give an important presentation - your mind perceives that energy as nervousness.
But when you are about to take your dream vacation - your mind perceives that energy as excitement.
The raw feeling is the same in both circumstances - energy.
And - what happens when you are delivering a very important presentation - and you keep telling yourself: "I must control my nervousness, I must control my nervousness, I must control my nervousness ..."?
Your energy gets blocked - just as the steam inside your kitchen's pressure cooker.
And - the more blocked energy you have inside your body - the more difficult it is for you to appropriately perform.
So - what must you do instead of controlling your nervousness while delivering your presentation?
Instead - you must "channel" your energy.
And - how do you channel your energy?
You channel your energy - while delivering your presentation - by walking, by moving your hands, by using your entire body, by making purposeful gestures, by lowering and by rising the volume of your voice, by speaking slower and faster deliberately, etc., etc., etc.
The more you channel your energy through your conscious and purposeful body movements and voice changes - the faster you will relax, the faster you will get rid of your "nervousness," and the faster you will be able to perform exactly as you want to perform.
Don't control your nervousness - because it will be much more difficult for you to clearly express your mind.
Channel your energy - and you will be able to express what you want to say in the way you want to convey it.
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See you next month!
Jose Luis Romero - Publisher
August 6, 2013. Copyright: All rights reserved
I publish "Leader Newsletter" on the first Tuesday of every month
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