Can they hear your voice quiver?
Are you dry and boring?
Do you lack persuasive skills?
Do they see your hands shaking?
Are you unable to get your point across?
How do you know?
These are all fearful comments I've heard from my clients and audience members, comments that reveal a perception about themselves that may or may not be true.
When we're nervous, we may experience physical symptoms, but does the audience notice?
We may feel that we're not getting through to the audience, because we don't get the response we expect, but does that mean we're not connecting?
This is another situation where videotaping, audio recording and/or asking for honest feedback through evaluations will help you understand how you're really coming across.
My clients have been shocked to observe their videos and realize that the hand shaking or voice quivering was not noticeable at all! They had been building up anxiety about their performance based on their own feelings and perceptions, but not based at all on how the audience really sees them. Adding some relaxation techniques to their preparation rituals helped the physical symptoms, but more importantly, they could move on to more important skill-building.
Once you get a sense of how you're really perceived by the audience, you can focus on the skills that you need to build rather than the imaginary flaws that aren't actually standing in your way.
Having a clear and honest perception of yourself removes doubt and anxiety and allows confidence to grow!