Most of the tools for controlling your nerves are designed to calm you down. This module takes a very different approach – and allows you to stay worked up about your presentation, but in a more positive and constructive way.
Alison Wood Brooks has been looking carefully at how our bodies deal with nerves. She’s an Assistant Professor at Harvard Business School – her profile is here. She’s particularly interested in negotiations and negotiating, so it’s not hard to see how she started researching how to stay in control of one’s nerves.
The idea here is so astonishingly simple that it seems like it can’t possibly work.
The research is very clear that it does, however!
The video gives you a starting point. (The password is AWB.)
At it’s most simple, the technique is to convince yourself you’re not nervous by talking as though you’re not. Whenever you’d normally talk to yourself or your friends about how anxious you are, you simply say to yourself that you’re excited. You don’t tackle the idea of being nervous at all, head on.
For once the adage that if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is, isn’t!