Ten Tips for Presentation Jitters — #5-#1

Second of two posts on a list by Richard Elmes — the Sales Dating Guy — that covers his best tips for dealing with pre-presentation jitters (here and here).   Here are #5 through #1 (#6-#10 here) with comments as appropriate.

5. Turn nervousness into enthusiasm:  Athletes do this all the time. They turn that negative nervousness (which is really an adrenaline rush) into positive enthusiasm…[a]nd as presenters we can do the same, by thinking about it that way.

This tip reinforces the importance of practice.  If I’ve practiced the mechanics of my presentations — just like athletes practice the fundamentals — then I don’t have to think about those things when presenting.  I can focus on my audience.

4. Realize that you are not alone:

3. Act as if: I’m sure you have heard the old saying, “Fake it, until you make it.” Well here is a secret about speaking in public. If you fake being confident, your audience will not know. Their perception is that you are confident.

While #4 is a bit repetitive of #7 and #8, #3 is a strategy with a long heritage (see discussions of Pascal’s Wager here and here). 

2. Visit the washroom  AND  1. Just do it!!!

While I combined #1 and #2 — #2 isn’t funny at all.  I’ve had one co-presenter duck out on me while I did a soft shoe until he returned.  And I ain’t exactly Tommy Tune.

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