Cope with Nerves

Stressed out about business presentations? Would you rather stay in bed, hide in the bathroom or find an excuse to leave work early than get up in front of a group?

For anyone looking for strategies to reduce fear of public speaking, a new webinar training series will help you calm down, reduce stress and handle presentations like a pro.

As a professional, it's your job to give presentations. Most likely, all day - every day. Most people find that as they advance in their career, so does the number of presentations on their calendar.

But there is always the fear that shows up before getting up on stage. It may show up as nervous jitters, dry throat, upset stomach, nausea or sweaty palms.

Here are 7 tips to conquer nervous stress about presenting and public speaking - so you can rise in your career without having your blood pressure rise too!

1. Picture Success
Imagine vividly the positive outcomes of your speech. This could be applause, approval of your proposal, or winning a big contract. Perhaps your boss will finally notice how much value you bring to the team. Whatever motivates you and gives you a warm happy feeling - picture that!

2. Rename Nervous Energy
Feeling nervous can be a good thing. It's a sign of positive excitement and adrenaline. This is necessary for peak performance. Rename the symptoms as a good sign and you're much more likely to accept the sensations and move forward.

3. Hold Onto a Marker
The first moments of presenting can be when you feel most uncertain. Hold onto a marker - and head to a flipchart or whiteboard. Use your marker to steady yourself. This is also a great way to plan for specific steps and visual maps to structure your talk.

4. Pause
Pause before you speak. This makes you look, well, presidential. Many executives, politicians and leaders know this trick. Pause. It could be the most important thing you do.

While you're gathering yourself, your audience is also focusing on you. Command the space during your pause. Then, you'll feel much more ready to move ahead.

5. Breathe Slowly
Slow down your breath. Some people find that counting inhalations and exhalations is an effective way to slow down and calm down. Experiment to find your own comfort zone.

6. Structure Your Story
A clear roadmap for your presentation is a great stress reducer. Once you know what you're going to say, do and draw, it's a lot easier to handle the amount of time you have in front of a group. If you aren't 100% sure how to structure a compelling story, take a professional training webinar to find out.

7. Review What Worked
After every presentation, ask yourself a single question: "What worked?" This will help you build a set of personal best practices. Instead of trying to remember a complicated set of expert rules, you'll have your own private collection of what works for you.

Presenting in front of groups is a part of professional life. By learning techniques and tips to get comfortable you are positioning yourself for career success.

Just like many parts of professional life, measurement is a terrific motivator. Learn the tricks of the trade by recording your own progress in overcoming stress. Simple ways to increase measurement include tracking:

1. How many presentations are you giving a week?
2. What techniques are helping you reduce stress?
3. How many presentation training webinars are you attending?
4. What best practices work best for you?
5. How often are you getting expert feedback from a coach?

See how this works? And here's the best news: A small amount of learning, tracking and personal feedback has a big impact!

Author's Bio: 

Milly Sonneman is a recognized expert in visual language. She is the co-director of Presentation Storyboarding, a leading presentation training firm, and author of the popular guides: Beyond Words and Rainmaker Stories available on Amazon. Milly helps business professionals give winning presentations, through online presentation skills trainings at Presentation Storyboarding. You can find out more about our courses or contact Milly through our website at: http://www.presentationstoryboarding.com/