Listening to presentation

Guest Blog: Jon Torrens - How to deal with nerves when presenting

Don’t Panic! Dealing With Nerves When Speaking to a Group

Everyone experiences some form of nerves before they speak to a group of people. There are two main reasons:

  1. You want to do well.
  2. You have no idea what will happen.

This is completely normal (unlike the act of standing up in front of a group of people to speak). Even seasoned performers (including stand-up comics) can get nervous, because they’re unable to predict exactly what’s going to happen. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Write a really solid piece that you’re proud of (get someone you trust to review it).
  2. Rehearse it until it flows naturally, like a conversation.

When you are at one with your material, then you can use the adrenaline to power your performance, as the energy to make it really zing.

Think of it like you're jumping into a swimming pool where you suspect the water's going to be a little bit cold for your liking. Just take the plunge, and – as long as you've done enough rehearsal preparation – you'll find that not only will you soon get comfortable, you may even start to enjoy it.

Posted by: Jon Torrens is a former stand-up comic and computer game designer; his philosophy is 'be creative, convincing and concise'. He lives in Ely, the third smallest city in England.

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