3 strategies to overcome your nerves before a big presentation

After coaching for 5+ years and helping hundreds of clients, this one question keeps popping up over and over:

Nausheen – how do I stop being nervous before my presentation/podcast/live event?

Woman freaking out due to her nerves

Here are the three best strategies for overcoming your nervousness and fear before speaking to an audience.

1. Investigate the nerves

Ask yourself what’s causing you to feel nervous before a big presentation or podcast. Is it:

  • Fear of being judged by the audience?
  • Fear of coming across as an imposter?
  • Fear of forgetting what you had to say?
  • Fear of being asked a tricky question?
  • Fear of being ill at ease in the spotlight?

Now create a preparation strategy that targets your fears.

If you fear being judged, remind yourself that the audience isn’t there to judge you. They’re there to learn. To make the best use of their time.

If you do well, the audience benefits. They’re actually rooting for you.

If you fear forgetting what you had to say, know your content inside out. Set aside time in your schedule in the week leading up to the event to rehearse.

Fear tricky questions? Ask a friend, colleague or your coach to quiz you with difficult questions.

Whatever your fear is – there is a strategy that you can build and follow to target it so that the power of the fear diminishes.

2. Reframe the nerves

Did you know that ​your body produces the same response to nervousness and excitement​? What that means for you is that your brain gets to choose what the emotion is that you’re feeling.

I once had a huge workshop opportunity to teach public speaking skills to engineers at Twitch. I was thrilled and absolutely dreading it at the same time – because I felt so incredibly nervous.

So nervous that I wanted to back out.

I realized I wasn’t doing the one thing I had been teaching everyone – examining and reframing my nerves.

I told myself: “This anxiety that I’m feeling is excitement at the opportunity to be able to share what I know with these awesome folks”.

I’m excited. I care about the outcome.

That one reframe helped turn something I was dreading into something I was looking forward to.

client testimonial after Nausheen beat her nerves

3. Beat the nerves

Despite following through on investigating your nerves and reframing them, you might still feel butterflies right before you have to start.

Develop a pre-game routine for you to follow a few minutes before you need to go live. You can experiment with any combination of these to develop a routine that works for you:

The key is to take 5 minutes before you need to speak and focus inwards on a routine that will help you perform well.

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