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How Do I Handle Performance Anxiety?

by | Apr 5, 2016

Karen Cortell Reisman Executive Communication Speaker and Coach microphoneEmbrace your performance anxiety – it’s normal. To convert this anxiety into useable energy you can do specific strategies ahead of D Day (Delivery Day), the day of delivery, and during your delivery of your message(s). Click here to review these strategies: https://karencortellreisman.com/how-do-i-get-over-the-fear-of-public-speaking/ This link is the 1st of a 4-part blog series on these strategies. Editorial plug: These blogs are short and to the point!

Thank you to my client last week for co-creating an additional tool to handle performance anxiety. Like most of my clients, he has had two levels of performance anxiety. Level one: nervous about giving the presentation. Level two: feeling guilty and aggravated about saying “no” to speaking opportunities. We devised a plan to alleviate the 2nd tier – feeling guilty when or if you say “no” to a speech, called – The Decision Grid for Accepting/Declining a Speaking Opportunity.

Make Four Columns on a sheet of paper (or use a spreadsheet if you want)

  1. Speech Venue
  2. Content
  3. Audience
  4. Scheduled time of speech

Under each column you will enter the criteria for when you are the LEAST comfortable/profitable to the MOST comfortable/profitable for giving a presentation.

Examples from my client:

  1. Speech Venue: He prefers a bigger room where he can walk around, well lit but not too bright, neutral territory such as a conference room or hotel. He becomes anxious when the venue leans towards the opposite of the above.
  2. Content: He wants to have a high amount of knowledge (something that I often talk about in this blog as a necessity for great speaking), and at a high strategic level – which makes sense because he is at a senior level in his large organization. He doesn’t want to say “yes” to speeches with an unstructured agenda.
  3. Audience: He wants the audience to be a group that monetizes his message for his team – that it’s something worth doing for the bottom line. Also – less that 25 people would be great for him.
  4. Scheduled time of speech: Due to a prior bad experience with flying for 12 hours and then giving a speech in another country while being sleep deprived he’d like what I bet all of us want: Some time before the presentation to get acclimated.

If your speech opportunity hits more in your LEAST columns – then say “no” without adding guilt and aggravation to your self-talk. Sometimes it’s the right decision. But – my client will agree – you have to push through your comfort stuff and say “yes” too, when the presentation adds value to your organizational positioning and if it’s critical for your team’s growth and stature.

Photo Copyright: <a href=’http://www.123rf.com/profile_eugenelucky’>eugenelucky / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

Karen Cortell Reisman, M.S., author of 3 books and President of Speak For Yourself®, works with decision makers on how to speak with gravitas. It’s all in how you speak for yourself. Karen also speaks about her cousin, Albert Einstein, in a message about hope, resilience and brassieres.

Read more at www.SpeakForYourself.com/blog




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