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Dealing with Nerves

A lot of us suffer from nerves and it is more common than you may think. The world of job search and public speaking can be quite nerve-wracking. You must remember to never apologise for your nerves. Nerves are not a bad thing. We all get nervous including professionals that have been public speaking for many years.

Why do we get nervous?

The answer to this question is that because you care. When somebody sees that you are nervous that only tells them that you really want something, and that is good. Don’t ever apologise for your nerves, never be the person that says, “Oh I am really sorry, I am so nervous.” When you do this you’re making everybody aware of the one thing that you did not want them to focus on. Just smile and be resilient and get yourself through it. Here are some tips that you can use to get it all under control:

  1. Preparation – The more preparation and practice you do the less nervous you will be. Nerves come from the fear of the unknown – “what will happen if….” Or “what will the consequence be if…” Try not to worry and prepare as much as you can. This means practising as much as possible, this will hopefully make your presentation or interview go more smoothly on the day.
  2. Surround yourself with positive people! People who are positive can make you feel really good about yourself! You will all know someone that makes you feel good, always knows the right thing to say, their words and presence can make you feel positive and make you feel that you can take over the world. We all have these people in our lives, they could be friends, or family, or our partner. Before your interview or presentation ensure that you schedule a call or meeting with this positive person in your life. Make sure that during that conversation, they are reminding you about your strengths and what makes you who you are. Ensure that they are asking you questions about what you enjoy, that you are passionate about. Because, what goes on in your headspace, is just as important as what comes out of your mouth. It is really important to get yourself in the right frame of mind.
  3. Have a Theme Song! Music can also be powerful; it helps to build adrenalin and confidence. We see this all the time in sport especially when boxers walk towards with their entourage and enter the ring. Music is powerful and sends out a strong message. We all have that song that makes us feel amazing. Doesn’t really matter what it is. It could be the latest song in the charts or a classic like ‘Eye of the Tiger’ (The theme song from the Rocky movies) Or it could be something so cool I have not even heard of it. If it makes you feel incredible, then that is your theme song. Music is very, very emotive. That is why you hear it in movies, why they are played at Christmas, to make us spend loads of money when we are out Christmas shopping. They can make you cry; they can make you laugh – use it strategically to affect your mood. Sports people are really good at doing this. You should get a theme song going. This song will hopefully be your anthem to tackle your nerves and keep you motivated!
  4. Be Practical – We all get nervous in different ways and our body lets us know this! When we get nervous, we can get very sweaty hands, and when going in for that handshake, it can sometimes be a good idea if you just have a tissue. Not a tissue, but an actual handkerchief in your pocket, that you can give a little squeeze, before you go in for the handshake. It will dry up your hand.

Finally, more than anything always stay focused on the task at hand, focus on your strengths, and qualities. Show your passion and enthusiasm. Don’t forget why you are there! Being anxious is very common, we all get anxious from time to time, perhaps questioning what is making you anxious maybe one way of helping ease the way that you are feeling. See the presentation or interview as an experience in its self whether you get the job or not. Be positive and stay positive and get your head in a good place and do not ever apologise for being nervous. The irony is that the more interviews and presentations you do the less likely that you will feel nervous.

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