Category Archives: Stage Fright

Presentatie stress en hormonale reacties…

In de 16 jaar dat ik werk als presentatie coach is de meest gestelde vraag zonder twijfel hoe je af geraakt van de stress. Wat velen niet weten is dat heel ervaren sprekers ook stress ervaren, het lijkt alleen alsof ze heel zelfzeker op dat podium staan omdat ze precies weten hoe ze moeten omgaan met die stress. Stress voor een presentatie zal je altijd hebben (meer of minder afhankelijk van topic, publiek en voorbereiding) want het is een natuurlijke hormonale reactie. Wat kan helpen is ‘bewust’ een houding aan te nemen voor het publiek. Ga dicht bij het publiek staan, beweeg vanuit jouw schouders en kies een rusthouding zoals personen die het weerbericht presenteren op televisie. Link naar dit filmpje legt haarfijn uit wat er in jouw lichaam gebeurt……/

Sweaty when you need to present?

Deverell Smith

Not just athletes sweat when they need to perform, so do speakers. For an athlete this is quite normal, and actually it is for a speaker as well, though not that convenient.

Speakers sweat even before the actual ‘performance’ because we feel a threat. And I stress ‘WE’ as this is true for every speaker. I often feel cold, though never ever before I need to speak. This is because of our defense system that is triggered whenever we feel threatened. When speaking this is not a real threat though a kind of threat for our ego.

The defense system triggers the ‘fight or flight’ response which makes us sweaty, we tremble, our heart races and we have a dry mouth. Your body is actually doing a good job, however when sweating heavily…extremely annoying.

Think carefully dear men (and some women) what to wear when you have this problem. NO BLUE SHIRTS! Everyone will see that you sweat. I know you might not like it, feeling warm already, but a suit is really your best choice! If you don’t have this problem, just wear whatever feels nice and appropriate.

Enjoy your next presentation!

The audience is not your enemy

little 14 days old kitten hiding

I figured out long time ago that nearly everyone is nervous to do a presentation.The difference though between an experienced and non experienced speaker is that experienced speakers know how to deal with these nerves and ACT confident.They come close to their audience, they will rarely hide behind a lectern. They smile before starting and ‘connect’ with their audience. They make big gestures from their shoulders, they don’t make themselves small. Know that when you present your brain subconsciously might perceive the audience as the enemy. Your natural reaction is to hide from that enemy and protect yourself (you should sometimes see how people stand incredibly unnaturally to hide). Do the opposite and reinsure your brain that the situation is safe by coming close, looking for eye contact and stand in a powerful way!

e-Book on how to communicate with impact!

Presentation Tips from Presentation Coach Sylvie Verleye….After blogging and writing for 5 years on the topic of communicating with impact and presentations I decided last summer to share all my tips in an e-book. I had shared this free e-book after the summer break to everyone who had subscribed to my newsletter. As the feedback was so positive I have decided now to share it with everyone as a kind of New Year’s gift. Enjoy reading Presentation Tips from Presentation Coach Sylvie Verleye.

Make sure you have no time to be stressed…

This morning I heard something great on the radio. Two women were interviewed who were training to be in the next winter olympics in 2010 with the for us fairly unknown discipline bobsleighing. Their current top speed was 130 km per hour. The interviewer asked whether they were ever scared racing at this high speed. And one of the girls answered ‘just before the race I am scared but once I’m in that sleigh I just don’t have the time to be afraid, i have to focus’. Take this advise and use it for your presentations as well. The only reason why you are nervous is because you have the time to worry and the time to focus on yourself. There are different ways to change that focus like meditation (which actually needs a lot of practise) but you can just talk to people in the audience just before your presentation as well. In fact anything will work that prevents you from thinking and worrying. Make sure you don’t have time to worry !


I joined a toastmasters meeting yesterday evening and it was a great experience. For those who are not familiar with it, some explanations. Toastmasters is a club that exists worldwide where people meet to improve their presentation skills. Some clubs meet twice a month, others more often. Yesterday I was a guest in the Brussels club and I was really amazed how effective these meeting was. Being a presentation coach I can not stress enough how important it is to exercise. You can follow a training course but the most important thing is what you do with it afterwards. Suppose you want to exercise your presentation skills but you don’t have the opportunity to present that much in your company…then toastmasters is the answer. In an extremely warm and welcoming environment you can exercise prepared presentations and impromptu speech, and on top of that you receive great and useful feedback from your fellow toastmasters. Highly recommended, especially for people who feel intimidated getting on stage !

Article by Anne Hunt – Be Posture Conscious

About a year ago, something shifted in my consciousness and I became aware of how good I could feel if I concentrated on good posture. I remember the moment, standing in line at the grocery store. I was tired and felt a little run-down. I consciously straightened my spine, rolled my shoulders back, stretched my neck a little, and then relaxed in my new, “chin-up” position. I felt better immediately, and I’d like to ask you to do the same right now, and then return to reading this article.
Feel better? As it turns out, Edgar Cayce would have predicted that you would. And so would Dr. Harold J. Reilly, author of The Edgar Cayce Handbook for Health Through Drugless Therapy. Many people asked Cayce about their posture, and he also brought it up independent of questioning. Imagine if he were giving readings today, in a world that is so much more sedentary in nature than his and Reilly’s time? What would be Cayce’s message about posture, and what would it be to you today?
Cayce’s Three-Point Posture Plan. Researching Cayce’s readings and referencing Harold Reilly’s work, I have concluded that Cayce would make three suggestions to all of us regarding our posture. (1) Be conscious of standing and sitting with good posture. (2) Exercise in the morning and evening. (3) Get spinal adjustments and massages regularly.

Article by Jerry Beck on Body Language

What’s the difference between body disposition and body language? “Body Language” is what we observe in someone else. For instance, I might “assume” that you’re angry or defensive when you sit across from me with your arms crossed. Or, I might “assume” that you’re arrogant if you speak with me with your hands on your hips. There are numerous “body language” assessments that have us “guessing” at another persons mood or emotion. When, in fact, they’re nothing more than a guess. A suggestion is, to look at your “own” body disposition – in other words – how are you “holding” your own body. How do you feel when you’re in that stance/posture? What is evoked in you from there? Are you comfortable, are you angry, holding back, defensive – what? Knowing your own body disposition and practicing different ways in which to stand, sit, breath, etc. allows for the possibility to “shift” our mood or emotion at any given time. We don’t “show up” without an emotion. We’re always in one. Recent studies suggest that our emotions generate our thoughts. In working with executives in organizations, having them breath (take a deep, deliberate breath) allows for individuals to shift their current posture – which, in turn, shifts their mood or emotion. In meetings (or anywhere else, for that matter) where there is tension or emotions are running high, it is valuable to be able to shift a mood or emotion that will allow for a more reasonable conversation. If we look to ourselves to determine our posture when we’re making a point – can we listen from there? Conversely, if we’re laid-back and relaxed, how easy is it to be adamant about our point of view? Practicing how we stand, sit, relaxed or stressed, can open new doors to ways in which we’re able to communicate with one another.