Love Tina Fey. . .don’t you?
Reading her really funny book, Bossypants—a great line hit me, as a speech coach who finds humor for my clients:
“Comedy is about confidence, and the moment an audience senses a slip in confidence, they’re nervous for you and they can’t laugh.”
The truth is audiences really want you to succeed. There are very few things they can’t forgive. They want you to make it. If your voice cracks, it’s fine. One thing audiences won’t forgive is making them nervous. You can’t look confident when nervous habits show up, and the audience is too nervous FOR you to laugh.
Almost everyone experiences some degree of nervousness when they have to be a speaker, whether it’s a formal speech in front of a group, presenting a proposal to a decision maker, or being called on in a meeting to answer a question. You feel your heart pounding, your throat constricting, your face feeling hot and your mouth drying up. For some people this feeling will never go away completely. You may never truly banish the butterflies; the best you can do is persuade them to fly in formation.
So how do you stop being nervous?
Everybody is worried about “stage fright,” but nervousness is simply energy gone wrong. The body produces energy, which is normal and good. We get into trouble as presenters when we try to squelch our energy, or try to deny or squelch it. When we try to squelch our energy, it still comes out – but it manifests as nervousness. Knocking knees, dry mouth, sweaty hands and more. People have actually told me that their knees knocked, and I didn’t believe it until I actually saw a man’s trousers start to quiver right at knee level. I could see his pants move so I knew the guy was shaking. Instead of suppressing your energy/nervousness, release it. You need to think of your energy as coming up and out of your body, releasing and giving it away. The energy behind your message comes up and out through the five channels of the body: your eyes, hands, feet, body and voice. When you feel nervous, focus on putting MORE energy into your eye contact and your voice. Your hands, feet and body will move quite naturally when you have energy in your voice and eye contact.
Being real and confident and funny in front of any audience is one of the best ways to grow your business. So please call me for your complimentary, totally FREE value discovery call. You will get value, and we will discover if we are a match to work together.