Butterflies and Sweaty Palms – good or bad?

April 28, 2014

Are you one to loathe the thought of presenting in front of an audience?  Or to even attend an interview?  Do your palms get sweaty?  Neck is covered in splotches of red dots?  Stomach turns so much you’d think that you need to consume an entire bottle of Tums?

Well, you are not alone.  All of the above are signs of nervousness and anxiety – or what some may refer to stage fright.  For me, I call it – outside my comfort zone.

While I can say that now, I am a confident public speaker, proudly delivering information to audiences large or small, I can account for many presentations and interviews that I didn’t deliver as well as I could have.

Rather than allow these signs of anxiety to work against you, there are ways to focus your nervous energy into something positive.

The fear of public speaking

1)    Practice what you want to say in front of a mirror.  Or a webcam.  Either way, you can watch yourself and decide if you like your messaging.
2)    Take a deep breath and tell yourself that you are ready (this will only work if you have done some prep work in advance).  I actually talk out loud to myself when I am experiencing signs of stress. Hearing these words delivers a much stronger message than just listening to thoughts inside my head.
3)    Smile when you speak – this may seem counter-intuitive because you may be hesitant, but trust me – when you smile, your words will come out easier.

Know that you will perform your best when you learn how to channel this energy into something positive – and eventually, your palms will be dry and ready to go!

Jennifer McCleary is the Director, Student Experience.  This is a new role for DeGroote overseeing all student engagement from recruitment/admissions, academic services and advising as well as career development activities including Co-op and Internship.  Her goal is to successfully engage all students during their time at DeGroote so that as alumni, they will be proud and passionate ambassadors throughout their chosen careers.  “Our students will graduate as confident and competent leaders, ready to enter the marketplace because of their ‘experience’ at DeGroote.”
Jennifer’s Fun Fact – While she loves to feed her Type A personality with several activities at a time – read ‘fast-paced’ and ‘overdrive’, she finds time to relax while baking new recipes from a variety of food bloggers – with chocolate and nuts as two of her favourite ingredients.

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