Overcoming Nerves

Video 4 of 13
2 min 59 sec
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When you first give a presentation, you might find yourself very nervous. This is quite natural. Even people who have done presentations for years will often still be nervous for the first few minutes. You might hear an actor on television talking about every time they first go in front of the camera or on stage, they are nervous. This is normal and nothing to be worried about and a few nerves can sometimes make a better lesson rather than an overconfident trainer. What we will look at now are ways that you can try and help with your nerves and the first one will be prepared. Always prepare for every lesson you do. Know roughly what you are going to be saying, what you are going to be doing and the flow of the lesson. Have good session plans so you know exactly what you are going to be doing at all times. Make sure that any equipment that you are going to be using in the lesson works. Use an icebreaker. Icebreakers are good because they can take the emphasis away from you at the start of the lesson and onto the group so that you can introduce your subject, then talk about health and safety and basic things and then have the icebreaker. This moves the emphasis away from you to the people you are presenting to.

There are lots of different ideas. We have put some of these in the download area of this course but you can also search the internet if you need more ideas for icebreakers. Talk to the whole group, do not just direct your conversation to one area of the room. Ensure that you turn around and look at the whole group so you make eye contact with everybody. This way, you are not going to find yourself talking to individuals, which can then make it even more nervous. You get used to talking to the whole group. If you are running any exercises, make sure you know how you can explain it to the group. I often see trainers who will come up with an exercise for a group but do not explain it correctly at the beginning and this causes confusion or the whole point of the exercise is missed. Make sure you explain exactly what is required to the group so that they know exactly what they are supposed to be doing and also invite questions. Be professional the whole time. You need to make sure that everything you do within your presentation is professional and friendly. When you are delivering your presentation, if you are friendly to people, then they are going to enjoy the lesson much more.

Ask questions and listen to the answers. When you are delivering a lesson, ask learners about the subject, ask for their personal experience and maybe where they are going to be using the subject. This will get more interaction going within your group. The more you involve the group, it takes more pressure off you and the learners will enjoy it more. Finally, try and know your learners' names. Consider using name badges because you can address people directly by their name and it makes it much easier for the group to identify others in the class. All these things will just help take the pressure off you and give you more confidence.

Overcoming Nerves, you can follow a few things:

  • Preparation
  • Use an icebreaker to move the emphasis to learners
  • Make sure there are no audio-visual problems and test it
  • Talk to the whole group
  • Prepare exercises
  • Group exercises
  • Be professional 
  • Eye contact
  • Be friendly
  • Ask questions
  • Listen to answers
  • Know where you are on the course
  • Practice your lesson
  • Know your group, name badges