Sunday, May 27, 2007


Nervousness or stage fright could grip both professionals and beginners. It is a very normal feeling when faced with the challenge of having to face and speak before a group of people, be it in the classroom or in an auditorium. The thing is, some people just know how to manage or deal with their feelings of nervousness while a good number end up making a lot of blunders and showing them; thus, making their presentation a dismal failure.

How do you eliminate nervousness? First, you don't eliminate it because it will just be there while you wait for your turn and during the early part of your delivery. In other words, after some time, nervousness will just go away by itself in the course of your presentation or speech. Do not make the mistake of taking anything like a glass of wine or some pills rumored to banish nervousness.

Managing or controlling the feeling in such a way that it does not show during the entire speech is possible. I have personally done this many times in the past. Whenever I was going to be the emcee or host of any particular show or program, like any normal being, I'd have feelings of anxiety which I try to minimize by preparing for the program. Always ask for a copy for the program days before the show and try to make a sort of working script which will serve as your guide in making the affair come to a smooth finish.

Preparation is the best weapon against nervousness. Go prepared for the worst like an uncooperative or unruly audience, poor sound system, bad venue, etc. Of course, you cannot do miracles here. You can only deliver what you have.

Many times when hosting I'd even feel my hands shaking especially when the audience look strange to me. But what I'd always do is to command my body to keep still, tell my hands not to shake, etc. and almost always, amazingly, they obey.

Always remember that the mind controls the body. It can will the body to stay put and do what it wants it to do. The good news is, no matter how nervous you may be, the audience never notices this unless you show it to them. So do not make a fool of yourself while up there. Never show that you are nervous by doing any of these things:
1. looking up or looking down (not looking at the audience)
2. bouncing, rocking, dancing
3. speaking fast
4. putting out your tongue when you make a slight mistake
5. making unnecessary gestures (scratching, clapping, etc.)
6. using ah,ah,ah a lot
7. repeating certain words needlessly
8. apologizing for anything

Remember, there are only two people who do not get nervous---those in mental institutions and in the cemetery. You are young and alive, it is normal for you to get nervous BUT learn how to control it and not the other way around.

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