Chances are you have to give a message or presentation in the next month.
And chances are you’re already nervous about it.
No matter how long you’ve been speaking or how often you do it, almost all of us get nervous before we speak.
I was texting with a friend recently, and he mentioned he was suffering ‘the usual nerves’ because he had to speak Sunday at his church.
He’s an amazing communicator God has used to speak to thousands of people again and again. All I could think of was “you always do such a great job…why are you nervous?”
But it’s just a reminder that for most of us, including me, the fear never entirely goes away. After all, fear of public speaking is allegedly the #1 fear people experience.
Even though the fear doesn’t entirely go away, the fear doesn’t have to be debilitating. And it certainly doesn’t have to be destructive.
In fact, using a few simple strategies, you can learn to manage it and maybe even make it work in your favour.
First A Little Theology
Of all the directions issued in scripture, one of the most common is simple “Do not be afraid.”
I need to hear that all the time. Fear often stands in the way of faith. And somewhere in that dialogue between God or an angel and people is misplaced confidence.
I might always be asking “Do I have what it takes”, but the real question is not whether I have what it take, but whether God does.
Often the difference between an effective leader and an ineffective leader is the difference between someone who pushes through their fear and someone who succumbs to it.
Clearly God expects to experience fear (otherwise telling people to not be afraid makes no sense); he just encourages you to push through it.
The question is how do you do it?
5 Ways to Calm Your Nerves Before You Speak
Naturally, you want to pray and trust God. And I’m just going to assume you’re going to do that. But what practical strategies can get you through your fear and on into the message you need to deliver?
When I follow these 5 practices, I find my fear becomes far more manageable, and the little bit that’s left just gives me an edge that is actually helpful, not harmful. It pushes you to do better.