September 14, 2023

If you're not nervous, your presentation might suffer

If you're not nervous, your presentation might suffer.

It doesn't mean you have to be shaking in your boots to give a good performance (because that's not good for anyone), and it doesn't mean that you can't experience incredible energy and a sense of flow and connection during the performance.

What it means is that, in order to do a good job, we have to *care.* We have to be committed to delivering our best AND delivering what the audience needs, wants, and cares about. And there is ALWAYS uncertainty when you're getting in front of a group for the first time.

I'm giving my first significant keynote in December. Yes, I'm nervous! That doesn't mean I don't have 100% confidence in my ability to deliver an amazing experience. It just means that I care!

Top speakers, athletes, and entertainers will always be nervous before an event because they're committed to excellence, and they don't rest on their laurels of previous successes.

Here's a snippet of a conversation between Eddie Murphy and Jerry Seinfeld, from Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee:

Eddie: "The times I've gotten on stage and felt totally loose with no energy of being uncomfortable at all, I would do shitty. I wouldn't have as strong a set."

Jerry responds.

Eddie: You gotta have a little bit of "What if this shit doesn't... what if they don't get all of this shit?" I always do best when I have a little bit of that.

And here's a conversation between Conan O'Brien and Chris Farley, after Chris Farley took a pratfall in his character of motivational speaker Matt Foley:

Conan: "The falling down helps, right? Always gets a laugh."

Chris: "Yeah, it breaks the ice a little bit...."

Chris: "....It's like a first hit in football. It takes the butterflies away. 'Cause I was backstage like, going, 'Oh God—they're gonna know I'm dumb!' So I just fall down, try to do something physical."

Some people are so petrified that they avoid public speaking at all costs. Some get a little stage fright right before beginning their presentations, and it goes away quickly.

And a manageable amount of nervousness is beneficial to a speaker. For one thing, it's a signal to your body that you're in a heightened state of awareness. (I'll be talking more about this in my new course, FYI!)

Nervousness is a part of public speaking like crashes are part of the Tour de France. The best way to deal with nervousness is not to try to eradicate it, but to learn to manage it as a tool and use it to your advantage.

🧪🦠🧠Want to learn more about the biology, chemistry and psychology behind public speaking nerves, and also learn how to manage your nervousness, channel the adrenaline, and work on your mindset around the adrenaline rush?

I've got a new course coming out JUST on public speaking nerves and stage fright. Comment below or message me to get the link when I make it available for pre-order at a special rate.

(Pic: Here I am feeling super relaxed AFTER speaking on a panel.)

On The Everything Page you'll find everything you need to build visibility, credibility and influence through engaging presentations that move your participants into action: freebies, low-cost products and courses, and 1:1 coaching!

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