How many times have you sat in an audience and heard a speaker say "Gosh, I am so nervous so please excuse me" or "Gee, I hope you all can't tell how nervous I am"?
Probably numerous times.
And the rest of the message you are looking for things that solidifies their nervousness instead of taking in the message. All of a sudden their voice is cracking, they are sweating hard with the A/C on high, the podium is trembling, and they refuse to make eye contact but instead keep looking at that one spot in the back of the room.
The art is found in masking it without anyone noticing.
Nervousness can ruin your delivery especially if your target audience is youth--their attention span is real short. It can also hinder your chances of getting invited back because you may be labeled as "boring".
But wait.You put in the marketing work and now you have been booked to speak. Why are you nervous when you have been waiting for this moment? Not a moment to show off how smart you are, but rather a moment to serve others with your gift to speak. Deep down you know you have something to offer them and you want to deliver it but fear has jumped up inside you.
Well, research shows that a certain amount of stress can be helpful when preparing to take on a new venture and accomplish a goal but it has to be controlled. Once that fear or nervousness crosses a certain line it becomes detrimental and no longer serves as adrenaline but drains you.
Before you get on stage, here are 10.5 things to do to combat nervousness:
1. Meditate with deep breathes
2. Visit the room where you will speak the day before and visualize your success
3. Pull out some inspirational material to read
4. Meet and greet with your audience before you go up
5. Think about how you will serve someone in need of your message
6. Blast your I-Pod with your favorites inspirational songs
7. Carry around positive testimonies from your past talks
8. Crack jokes with others around you
9. Shadow box or two-step to get your blood flowing
10. Reflect on how much you prepared for this moment...leave it on the court!
10.5 Call your biggest haters on the phone...I'm sure they will cheer you up. (smile)
(Brother Jesse Muhammad is a Staff Writer for The Final Call Newspaper, an award-winning blogger and touring international motivational speaker. Follow him on Twitter @BrotherJesse)