It’s understandable if you feel nervous when you have to speak in front of other people. It’s not something that you do all the time. However, if you have to force yourself to do it, you have no choice but to do your best. Whether you need to pitch in front of potential investors or speak to a crowd of younger audiences, you need to put your best foot forward. Start by drinking a glass of water. It will help calm your nerves down. It’s even better if you drink purified water to guarantee that it’s safe and free from pathogens. Consider installing the big Berkey water filter at home. You can also have one in the office. Bring a bottle of water with you during the actual speech. Don’t hesitate to take a break and drink water if you have to. Apart from hydrating, these are other useful tips to help you when you feel nervous.
Forget that there are people around
The best secret to fight your nerves is by pretending that no one is around the room. Although it’s essential to look at your audiences in the eyes, it also helps to stare at empty spaces. When you fool yourself to believe that you’re alone, you will start to relax. The worst thing you can do is worry about what each person in the room will say about your speech. You will never satisfy all of them. Forget about their feedback while you speak. Think about them later once you’ve already finished everything that you need to say.
Practice what to say
Practice won’t necessarily make you perfect, but it helps. You can run your speech several times until you feel more comfortable saying the words. The speech also starts to feel more natural if you say it over and over again. You can also try different ways to present your speech, depending on your target audience and the content.
Try to make the room feel more relaxed by injecting humor. When you see that everyone is laughing, you will start to feel better. It will make your speech more spontaneous. However, there’s also a risk that comes with injecting humor. Be prepared for the possibility that no one will laugh at you. Everyone in the room will think that your joke was weird or inappropriate. You need to have a backup plan if your plan joke didn’t turn out the way your help. Avoid making dirty jokes or try offensive humor. It might be funny, but it’s not going to help. If you’re pitching to potential investors, you will immediately make them feel turned off.
Check the venue
Another way to help you feel relaxed is by looking at the venue before everyone arrives. You should see if the stage is comfortable enough. Determine where you’re going to stand, and if you have to walk throughout the stage. You can also start to imagine that there are people in the room to feel more comfortable. Even if you’re alone while practicing, it still helps if you already know how the venue looks like.
Run your speech with a friend
You can at least find someone who will listen to what you have to say. It can be your friend or a colleague from work. The goal is to have someone criticize your speech. Be open to criticisms, and allow yourself to make changes whenever necessary. You still have time to edit your speech based on what your friends have to say. Make sure you only run your speech with someone who can be honest with you. If there are parts that you need to remove or tweak, your friend should be able to say it to your face. If your joke is terrible, you should also be informed about it right away. You would rather make changes now while you’re still practicing than fail during the actual speech.
Understand the meaning of your speech
Perhaps, the best way to feel relaxed is to understand what you’re saying. Some people feel nervous because they are afraid that they will forget what they have to say. If there is no prompter or the speech copy got mixed up, it could ruin everything. However, if you understand the meaning of what you’re saying by heart, it won’t worry you. You can continue talking and still impress the people in the room.
Practice answering questions
In most instances, giving speeches also requires you to answer questions. Prepare for it by asking your friend to throw some questions to you. If you don’t know the answer, you still have time to research. Ask your friends to be tough in giving these questions so you can prepare for the worst. If giving a rehearsed speech can be nerve-racking, you can only imagine how much worse it is for something you didn’t prepare for. Try some techniques to help you get through a tough question that you don’t know how to answer. Sometimes, your personality and sense of humor can get you through that tricky part.
Hopefully, you can survive a challenging presentation and say everything that you practiced. Regardless of the results, it would help if you learned from it. You’ll still have other opportunities to offer a speech in the future. Please take note of your mistakes and avoid doing them again next time.
You can also ask your friend to give feedback about your performance and be honest about it. If you made a pitch to potential investors and declined your offer, you should ask them why. Listen to what they say and don’t take things personally. You will have more pitches to potential investors in the future. You want to do better next time so you can close the deal. When you keep practicing and speaking in front of other people, you will eventually get used to the process. You will no longer feel nervous even if you didn’t have enough time to prepare.