I cringe whenever I see titles of books or articles that claim to be able to help you “overcome stage fright,” or “overcome your anxiety!” The truth is, a little bit of anxiety is actually good for you. Whether you have a presentation, or an interview, or just one of those important “talks” with the significant other coming up, having a little bit of nervousness just shows that you understand the situation is an important one…and you just don’t want to screw it up. Congratulations! You’re human! So do not hit that panic button just yet.
Having just a little bit of anxiety or nervousness helps to keep you focused on the important mission at hand. It tunes you. I heightens your awareness and (believe it or not) gives you added energy you can actually use to your advantage…if you know how.
So, if you’re experiencing some nervousness at a big gig coming up, don’t add even more pressure to yourself by tricking yourself into thinking you have to get rid of it in order to be successful. Nothing could be further from the truth! What you can do and what you should do is to learn to harness that nervousness, to control the anxiety, and to use that added energy as fuel for your presentation/interview/talk. Here’s what I recommend:
Jennifer Furlong has 25 years’ experience in the communication field and teaches communication and public speaking courses in the Savannah area. She earned a B.A. and M.A. in Communication from George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. She currently resides in Richmond Hill, Ga. with her family of canines, felines, and humans. Let's be social! Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, and Twitter. Just look for Professor SpeechLady. See you in cyberspace.
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