How to overcome nervousness and ace business presentations
Anyone who has watched The Social Network knows the power Mark Zucherburg holds, not only his academic genius but also his ability to Market facebook and single-handedly popularise social networking. You would imagine that he is a flawless speaker but this young billionaire is in fact a slave to his nerves. Just go back to his 2015 press release and you’ll see him visibly drowning in a pool of his sweat; a common indicator of stage fright.
Before a presentation of pitch, have you ever felt a tingling feeling in the pit of your stomach? Maybe even a shortness of breath and dizzy feeling? You could very well be experiencing typical symptoms of anxiety. One common type of social anxiety is presentation anxiety, often known as stage fright or glossophobia. Anxiety related to presentations or public speaking is thought to affect about 75% of people in some way (Ronald, 1998). On-the-job performance can be significantly impacted by presentation anxiety. According to surveys conducted by the University of Glasgow, 20% of people claim that their fear of public speaking has prevented them from advancing in their careers or caused them to pass up chances (Rein et. al., 2009).
The methods, responsibilities, and working environments in the sales industry make it easy for any employee to develop social anxiety, which is fear of being judged in actual or imagined social interactions (Schlenker & Leary, 1982). Though limited, the available study (Agnihotri et al., 2016, Belschak et al., 2006, Verbeke and Bagozzi, 2000, Verbeke et al., 2016) demonstrates that business professionals suffer anxiety linked to both firm and customer assessments, such as presentation anxiety and attachment anxiety.
Tips to overcome anxiety and nervousness using body language:
A body language that exudes assurance, suggests that you are in command and are confident in yourself. Slouching and crossing your arms might give off an uneasy, closed-off vibe. According to studies, a presenter who seems confident and committed to their pitch increases the likelihood of business presentations being accepted by 17% (Klepper, 1987). While we cannot completely get rid of our anxiety before a performance, we can use our body language to calm ourselves down and/or mask it. In order to project confidence and calm during business presentations, body language is vital. So next time you have a presentation in front of a client, stand tall with your shoulders back and your head held high, Take a couple deep breaths and then begin your presentation. You might just be able to overcome your anxiety like Samuel Jackson!