Group discussion /Interview/Presentation Nerves
Your stomach is queasy, your palms are sweaty, and your mind has gone blank about your opening lines.
If you are like most people, then public speaking or making a presentation is one of your major fears. Being nervous is not a problem or a weakness; you just need to channelize your nervous energy wisely. On the other hand, being over-confident and not nervous could be a weakness!
This is a fairly common problem with job/ SSB aspirants. In this blog we will analyze the problem of group discussion/interview/presentation nerves and suggest remedies.
Examples of Good Control of Nerves:
- Virender Sehwag is as shy person. However, he was confident enough to hit a six to bring up his triple century (abnormal control of nerves)!
- A shy opening batsman when playing in front of thousands & facing Bret Lee is not concerned about the crowd, but the ball likely to come at 150 kmph!
- A shy, but very competent Math teacher, who can explain solution to a Math problem to 10 students, can explain it to 10,000 students as well confidently.
- A shy, cardiac surgeon who has never performed in front of a crowd can perform cardiac surgery when witnessed by 50,000 spectators confidently.
- Lalu Prasad Yadav can address a crowd in Bihar/India/ anywhere in the world without any sign of nerves.
- Ravi Shastri can speak about Cricket and other issues in public confidently.
Analysis of above Examples of Confidence
- Sehwag is shy in general, but is very confident in his craft. This explains his behavior. The same reason explains the behavior of the Math teacher in the example quoted.
- The examples of facing the fast bowler and performing surgery show absence of nerves because the focus is so much on the serious task in hand that the mind cannot afford to dwell on any other issue, thus inducing confidence.
- The case of Lalu Prasad is one of immense practice and experience in the field, generating confidence.
- The case of Ravi Shastri is one of confidence in playing cricket, having knowledge of the game and speaking about it, providing him the general self belief to remain confident in other somewhat related fields as well.
Overcoming Group discussion /Interview/Presentation Nerves
- Knowledge/Competence. These aspects are related to each other and help greatly in overcoming the nerves. Thus improvement in knowledge and competence, which lead to enhanced confidence, is vital.
- Visualization and Practice. Visualize the event, entire seating arrangement and audience, etc, in your mind clearly and also visualize that you remain calm and confident and perform well. The more you rehearse mentally the more confident you become. The mental rehearsals remove the novelty aspect and you feel that you have done it earlier and nerves remain in control.
- Focus on Content. If you concentrate on the contents of what you have to speak and immerse yourself totally in that, you will become oblivious to the crowd and not experience nerves.
- Deep Breathing. A person who is calm takes slow and deep breaths, while a nervous person breathes quick and shallow. By focusing on deep and slow breathing the effect of confidence can be induced!
- Connect and Smile. Connect with the audience in a relaxed manner with a smile. When you start to speak, first greet the audience and smile. Speak more deliberately and clearly. Listening to your voice and pleasant reflection from the audience, induced by your smile, will have a calming influence and help control the nerves.
Conclusion: Group discussion /Interview/Presentation Nerves
The above tips should help you devise your personal strategy to overcome group discussion /interview/presentation nerves. The blog is quite intimately related to an earlier blog: http://nofrillsacademy.com/how-to-increase-self-confidence/. Please read it as well.