shutterstock_310520624Nerves versus focus. Dread versus opportunity.
 
In a recent Harvard Business Review article on calming nerves before a presentation by Amy Jen Su of Paravis Partners, Amy cites a few tidbits of insight and advice I offered when she interviewed me for the article several weeks ago. One of my quotes surprised even me as I was saying it, as it actually highlighted a new twist on how to view and manage nerves.
 
Here’s the excerpt: Levine advises, “Think of a quarterback playing in his first Super Bowl game. Yes, he may be nervous, but he’s not dreading it or seeing it as an obligation. He’s seeing it as a great opportunity that he’s ready to sink his teeth into. The nerves are a signal that this is something that matters to him.”
 
What is not new about what I said is that a mindset shift – more to the positive side of things – can be incredibly helpful. Usually that mindset shift involves thinking positively about performing well or about the audience assuming you’ll be successful.
 
What is new about what I said is that the mindset shift should be more specific – from dreading a presentation or looking at it as an obligation and something you need to simply survive to looking forward to it as a challenge to be conquered and an opportunity to shine.
 
In other words, your nervousness is not a block or an annoyance, it’s a signal that you have a great opportunity ahead of you to show your stuff. For more insights, read the article here.

Beth Levine

Beth Levine

Communications Coach at SmartMouth Communications
SmartMouth Founder and Principal Beth Noymer Levine is a Communications Coach who is emerging as one of the country’s leading voices on how to prepare and deliver speeches and presentations that actually work for both the audience and the speaker.
Beth Levine

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