Tackle Your Presentation Nerves

When I learned to ski as an adult I felt physically sick even getting in the lift to the slopes. I also had my one and only cigarette on a ski slope when I just couldn’t move for fear.  And this all happened on my honeymoon!

So, when it comes to presentation nerves, I totally get it and I have constantly hunted down strategies that can make a big difference.   For many people, presenting is not as bad as my skiing experience. In fact, very often, they are great presenters with tremendous executive presence.   But the impact nerves make on their energy and time is just not acceptable.  Life really is too short and work too busy.

If you’d like to be coached on how to take back control of those nerves and save time and angst, do give me a ring.  There will be a solution that suits you.  (And by the way, I now tackle off-piste ski runs using many of these same strategies!)

See below for some quick tips to try now. Coaching will help you create a routine and a mindset that you can use every time to get you through. 

  1. Divert the pain – put small pieces of grit in the front of your shoes and squeeze your toes when you walk up to present.  This will divert your attention and keep your weight moving forward.
  2. Divert the thinking – how else could you see this? Is your CEO more under pressure than you are?  Are you really there to help – so get over yourself, it’s not about you? (my personal favourite).  Are you even sure what is really winding you up – write it down and ask if that is  really true or how true it is and what is your evidence?
  3. Bore yourself senseless – practice in a boring voice out loud on a bed in front of the mirror, talking to objects around the room.  Do it a few times.  
  4. Make it easy and just a bit boring – ask yourself what is easy for you, before the nerves kick in, then practice in situations which are easy or just a tad more difficult. 
  5. Don’t Give A ****!   Just make a decision to do it and not care.  Go in pretending to yourself that you’ve already got a top new job or won a million dollars.  You’ve nothing to lose.

KineticFuture can coach you to be a world-class communicator and leader. Coaching 1-2-1 and in groups. Clients include Abbvie, Amgen, Gilead, GSK, Novartis, Mars, Pladis, WPP and Barclays. We have six main areas of work: Time to Think™ coachingexecutive presencepresenting and storytellingtricky conversationsresilience and communicating purpose.