I’m off to see Sing-a-Long Sound of Music soon and it’s got me thinking about one of my favourite songs in the film, ‘I Have Confidence’.

Even if you are an experienced speaker we all need positive self-talk to boost our confidence now and again… confidence is truly the key to great speeches and presentations.  And what affects our confidence when speaking?  Nerves!

Here are my top five tips to help you control those dreaded nerves when speaking.  Enjoy.

So… tempted to skip down an Austrian Street with a guitar case in hand singing and oozing confidence?


Let’s talk about confidence. When it comes to speaking, confidence is something to literally shine through.

It will:
• carry you,
• make sales for you,
• build loyalty with your customers and clients…

Confidence is something that you must have when you present!

You may well speak a lot or you may not speak much at all and maybe you’ve got speaking engagements coming up which are different out of the norm for you, maybe its speaking toast for Christmas, or speaking on a different type of function or cocktail party, or any different environment to what you used to.

Here are 5 power tools for helping you control nerves and build your confidence.

The first one is to breathe! Breathing make such a difference, breathing gives oxygen to your brain which stops you from going blank. Breathing slows down your pulse rate and it’s something no one needs to know before you get up to present have a few big deep breathes.

The second thing you can do is smile! These are the quick, easy, basic free tip. When you smile, your audience smiles back to you. It’s a positive loop. If you see people smile at you, you feel good about yourself you want to smile more and so it goes smile when you stuff up, smile when things go well, a smile is priceless – it will really help you control nerves and feel more confident.

The third thing, set a positive anchor, a powerful anchor, an anchor which makes you feel empowered and ready to present, an anchor which makes you feel calm and relax or on the ball, focused or succinct or whatever it might be. Seat in anchor if you haven’t covered anchors, if you haven’t learned anchors then go and find out how to do it because, wow it’s really powerful! Now we cover anchors in our double black diamond program so you can find out how to set an anchor. It’s one of the really powerful ways to control your nerves and to be confident when you present.

The fourth thing you could do is that you can focus on the process. I need to make eye contact with my audience and then I need to engage them initially, I need to make some interaction, and then I’ve got to cover point 1, and point 2, I want to check back into my audience. You see, you actually have a process to what you’re going to say, there’s a formula. Speaking is not random, there are absolutely key things you can hit. There’s a step by step formula to follow to a winning presentation. When you focus on that, it can really help suck the nerves out because it takes that emotional energy because you’ve been channelling into something really useful and productive for your audience.

The fifth way to control nerves, and to exude powerful confidence is to positively visualize being sensational. So the idea is before you present; you’re at home the day before, the week before, the night before, you imagine what it would like when you’re up in front of your audience and you see them through your eyes as you keep presenting, you see them smiling and nodding, you hear yourself sounding fabulous and all the words are flowing and you get that feeling of wow and just kicking it, this is brilliant, I’m a speaking rock star.

Imagine being fabulous, this is inside your mind – so no one else needs to know! You can be as amazing as you can possibly imagine and don’t curtail your imagination, make it spectacular.

So they are the five hot tips, on how to control your nerves and exude confidence when you present.

1. Breathe
2. Smile
3. Set an anchor
4. Focus on the process
5. Positively visualise

I hope you enjoyed these top 5 tips for controlling nerves, designed to help you to present with power, charisma and elegance.

I’m interested whether you have any special routines which help you handle nerves?  I have a colleague here at The Speaker who whispers to herself ‘back yourself girly’ before presenting.  Self talk is very powerful.

I’d love to hear your comments.  Please share with us in the comments box below, or like us on facebook and share your comments there too.


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  2. Verity Robins on October 25, 2013 at 3:25 pm


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