In this video, I answer the question: “How can I get rid of public speaking nerves?” I use the term “public speaking” loosely— this is for anyone who speaks in front of an audience— no matter how large or small.
Here’s the bad news— you can’t. We can’t control how we feel about anything, so frankly it’s a waste of energy to try to get rid of something that is outside of your control.
Here’s the good news: The nerves that you are feeling are actually a signal from your body that you care deeply about the communication context— they are your life force! We don’t want to get rid of that energy. But if that energy is turning into nerves or ramping up to anxiety, then it’s taken you over threshold and your F/F/F programs are going off, which, unless you are facing an actual life or death situation, is probably a higher intensity level than you need for the communication context. This is called disorientation— the body is responding to a life or death threat that is not actually there in the moment.
So while we can’t get rid of nerves, we can practice strategically use our attention to orient ourselves in the here and now— placing our attention on the outside environment and how it’s contacting our senses. Placing your attention on the outside helps decrease the intensity of what’s going on inside— allowing those nerves that might have overwhelmed you to morph into the charge you need to fuel you in your communication context. It’s way less effort than trying to change something— which can often lead us to focus more on a feeling we don’t want to feel and then exacerbate it. Get curious about what’s happening outside, and the inside states will shift automatically.
Give it a try and let me know how it goes. If you’re curious about how to further develop this kind of attention and presence and would like some coaching, please be in touch.
This language around orientation comes from Organic Intelligence(r).
If you’d like to be guided through an Orientation practice, check out this episode of my podcast.