Don’t get pushed around by anxiety. Fight back with three performance-changing steps that will put you in the driver’s seat. To push your presentation in the right direction, shift your thoughts and your breathing.
Focus on Your Audience
When you start obsessing about what your audience will think if you make a mistake, STOP. Most people will not notice small mistakes, and if they do, they are thinking more about themselves than you. When you start walking down the road of negativity, shift gears. Start thinking about how you can reach, connect and help your audience. When you change your focus from internal (it’s all about me) to external (it’s all about my audience) you take the pressure off yourself. Remember, a presentation is about the message, not the messenger!
Get in a “Gift Giving” Mindset
After you stop focusing on how you feel (nerves, fear, anxiety) start focusing on what you have to give. A presentation is a gift of your time, knowledge and your experience. Ask yourself empowering questions like: What can I share that will help my audience? How can I solve a problem? Will my audience be better off because of my presentation? When you focus on what you’re giving—instead of how you’re feeling—you have a more empowering mindset. You feel more confident when you know you are making a difference.
Take a Deep Breath
Just before you step up to speak, take a deep breath. Pause a beat to gather yourself and take control of your mindset. You can reduce your anxiety by controlling your breathing and calming your nerves. If you’re feeling anxious, take a few minutes to breathe deeply and visualize a scene that is calming. A flashback to the beach relaxes me. What scene can you think about to quickly calm your anxious mind?
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