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Nervousness and anxiety at work

Workplace confidence

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Nervousness and anxiety when it comes to performing at work or delivering a presentation is normal. Many people become agitated at the thought of public speaking and suffer performance anxiety which involves rapid heartbeat, difficulty breathing, sweating and even nausea before they need to make their presentation. There is anxiousness that they will make a bad impression even though they really do know the information very well. Similar things happen when you learn a new task at work or start in a new department.

Being comfortable about your communication at work in a new situation actually starts the day before the event. You need to prepare to be successful and the best way to do that is to relax. In order to do this it’s a great idea to practice what you want to say and to visualise yourself in the presentation or new position. Prepare a sheet with dot points and run through the presentation in your mind or even aloud if that works better for you. It’s not so much about memorising what you need to say for a presentation because if you write it all out you will be constantly referring to the paper in front of you. You probably know your ideas better than you think so have the confidence to just jot down some points and to talk about those points for a few minutes on each. Remember also to set up the equipment you will need or to call the people involved if you need overhead projectors, microphones etc.

Visualisation plays a big part in the success process so you need to visualise a successful presentation, meeting or office scenario and a successful outcome. Nervousness about how you present will be less if you move on from past experiences and visualise a brand new situation. Visualise how wonderful it is to be confident and practice your speech as if you were telling it to a close friend. See yourself smiling and friendly in that new office or job.

Let the knowledge you have of the subject filter through and allow your natural abilities to click in.

The night before spend some time relaxing and doing things you enjoy. Keep a clear head with meditation, go for a walk, do some yoga or watch a film but do not tire yourself out or go to sleep late. Being tired will only increase your nervousness. When you are anxious and nervous it is often difficult to sleep yet a good night’s sleep will make your presentation better. It will increase your energy levels so aim for a good 8 hours sleep the night before. You can even use meditation to fall asleep or a subliminal hypnotherapy download to put you in the right mind frame. All of these suggestions will take your mind off the nervousness you feel and enable you to relax the night before.

The food you eat is also important. It’s good to have a light meal before the presentation as you don’t want to add feeling bloated and uncomfortable to the nervousness and anxiety. Also avoid alcohol and coffee as it will affect your performance. Chocolate is a good food to raise your serotonin which will make you feel good and relieve some of the anxiety but don’t go overboard. Have a light healthy dinner or lunch of green vegetables, a serve of protein and drink enough water to keep you hydrated.

On the day of the presentation begin doing what you need do as if you are working down a checklist. Do one step at a time. Nervousness will quickly disappear if you keep yourself busy. Wear clothes that you feel good in and that are comfortable. Look at your speech briefly an hour or so before you go to the meeting. Nervousness may make you believe you have forgotten important information but quite often that is not the case. Remember, they don’t know what you were going to say; only you know.

Before you begin the presentation mingle with a few of the people there. Have a drink of water. Say hello. Be friendly. Once you are up there in front of the crowd take it slow and act natural. Take a deep breath and release with it the nervousness and anxiety you may still feel. Deep breathing will slow down your heartbeat if it’s too fast and calm you down.

Begin by focussing at the back of the room as if no one was there. Then as you speak let your eyes wander over the crowd. Look at the faces just briefly of the people there. Let the knowledge you have of the subject filter through and allow your natural abilities to click in. If you do forget something don’t bother about it. Move on rather than try to remember as that will make you feel even more nervous. Soon the nervousness and anxiety will disappear and you will be delivering your presentation with the passion you have for the subject filtering through. If you deliver your speech with a bit of humour and a big smile people will engage with you and tune in on what you are saying. Before you know it they will be laughing at something you have said and the nervousness will have been replaced with a smiling presentation by someone who is well educated in their subject matter.

There are many natural supplements to assist you to overcome nervousness and anxiety. Vitamin B can be helpful as can Camomile tea, Bach remedies and St John’s Wort. NLP and hypnotherapy are useful modalities to help you overcome fear of public speaking and other public performance issues. Investigate ways to get good, new input to give you the tools you need to forget the nervousness and anxiety and move forward in your life.



Jenetta Haim runs Stressfree Management at 36 Gipps Road, Greystanes, and specialises in assisting your health and lifestyle in all areas by developing programs on either a corporate or personal level to suit your needs. Jenetta has just published a book called Stress-Free Health Management, A Natural Solution for Your Health available from your favourite bookstore or online. For more information and to get in touch, visit her website.