How do you deal with being nervous when presenting? There’s a secret to reducing apprehension and all it takes is a few moments to perform. What is this wondrous idea? "Strike a pose." Prior to going into the meeting, find a quiet spot that’s out of view from everyone else. It could be in the elevator, the bathroom, or behind closed doors at your desk. Then, stand up with your legs just wider than hips-length apart; lift your chin, put your hands on your hips like a super-hero with your head held high. Hold it for two minutes and you’ll feel more assertive. For best results, do it in front of the mirror.
Our body language is a primal reflection of our sense of power, and believe it or not, there are ways to stand to get the right chemicals going in your brain that will trick your body into generating confidence. This is all backed up with science. Harvard and Princeton educated Dr. Amy Cuddy and her colleagues completed a study through which they concluded how we can physically trick ourselves into becoming self-assured. All it takes is the right body language; and the best part is, we can control this.
Take the time to police how you present yourself to the world. You can appear more confident simply by adjusting where you put your hands when you’re speaking. Tiny corrections in how you stand will change how others perceive your confidence level. This is how it works in the animal world, and humans are no different. Keep at it and you’ll notice that the nervousness gets suppressed over time. Then, after you adjust your outward presentation, challenge yourself by taking a small, calculated risk. The next time you’re in the board room, or attend your weekly team conference, make an intelligent comment or share an idea based on your own relative experience. Surprise yourself and you may find that the age-old phrase, “Fake it until you make it” is only half right. Perhaps Dr. Cuddy is correct: maybe it should be, “Fake it until you become it.”