Don’t let anxiety stand between you and pitching success
You have identified a problem, devised a solution, started a company and put together a pitch to secure funding. You have gone through so much already, yet the thought of pitching sends your anxiety into overdrive. Don’t let it. Don’t let anxiety stand between you and success.
Just like you, I too experience anxiety from time to time. Especially at those all important ‘must win’ moments. Here are some of the tips I use to manage my anxiety when I need to do public speaking.
Control your breathing. Anxiety causes a surge of adrenaline in our bodies. This adrenaline results in upper chest shallow breathing and tension in the body. You can relieve the tension in your body and reduce your stress by taking long deep breaths and doing some light stretching.
Practice mindfulness. About an hour before the start of your presentation, set aside some time to be in silence, collect your thoughts and take some time to mentally prepare yourself. There is no shortage of mindfulness activities you can engage in. Just find what works for you.
Twiddle don’t fiddle. If you find you have nervous hands and need them to move or do so subconsciously then find a calmer but deliberate alternative. For example, you could calmly move a pen between your fingers, play with a ball of blurs or squeeze a small stress ball.
Nervousness and anxiety are something you will likely feel ahead of and during your pitch. Unless you regularly engage in public speaking this is likely to remain the case. Taking some time ahead of your presentation to focus on yourself, clearing your thoughts and calming your breathing will improve how you present.