You can easily combat nervousness and anxiety when meeting
new people or speaking in front of large or small groups. Just
follow these simple steps to give yourself a "Thought Inoculation"
against nervousness and create a sense of joy, warmth,
enthusiasm and confidence.
- First, set the foundation: Understand the best kept secret in
the speaking business: The audience wants you to succeed.
Why? Because if you succeed, then they succeed and their
time will have been well spent.
- Next, finish the foundation: Reframe those sensations that
you used to call "nervousness". How? Answer this
question: What experience, other than nervousness, can
cause butterflies in your stomach your heart to race?
Excitement! Anticipation! So, take those sensations that
you used to call "nervousness" and interpret them as
- Now for some self-talk. Say to yourself, "I'm glad I'm here."
If you're genuinely glad you're here (wherever "here" is), you
will automatically feel a sense of joy and ease.
- Add to that, "I'm glad you're here." This produces feelings of
warmth, concern and sincerity.
- Say to yourself, "I LOVE what I'm doing." If you love what
you're doing, you can't help but feel enthusiasm and
passion. Keep in mind that enthusiasm is like a smile – it's
- Finally, say to yourself, "I know that I know." This will cause
you to feel confidence, conviction, and a sense of authority.
Confidence is the great motivator. It tells your listener you're
Repeat these self-talk phrases to yourself over and over, in
sequence – ten times, a hundred times if you have to:
"I'm glad I'm here."
"I'm glad you're here."
"I LOVE what I'm doing."
"I know that I know."
These four simple phrases, along with the foundation of knowing
that your listener wants you to succeed and you're not nervous,
you're Excited, will help you inoculate yourself against
nervousness. Use them whenever you want to feel joy, warmth,
enthusiasm and confidence, whether in social gatherings,
business meetings, or formal presentations. You'll be amazed at
how effective it is!
I had the opportunity to speak on this topic at the recent Oregon
Speakers Association annual Showcase on March 19, 2001 in front of
a very receptive and grateful audience. Credit goes to Dorothy
Sarnoff, author of "Never be Nervous Again," 1987, Ivy Books,
NY, NY. For more information, visit Mrs. Sarnoff's website: