How to Overcome Nervousness When Presenting an In-Service to your Therapy Department


Carol Loria, President ERI:

You just finished a continuing education course and you can’t wait to impart your excitement and the new knowledge you learned BUT you are so nervous.
You are afraid that your hands and voice will be shaking.  No worries, you are not alone.  Studies have shown that people fear public speaking more than death. 

When I first started working with faculty at Education Resources, I was truly shocked to discover that many internationally renowned speakers got butterflies in their stomach (one even threw up her lunch) prior to taking to the stage and still looked so unbelievably calm and in control.  I started asking how they managed it and through the years research has borne out their “home remedies”.  You can train yourself to appear calm and most people can even overcome their nervousness completely

Here are just a few tricks I’ve learned over the years: 

  • Think of this in-service as an opportunity to develop your public speaking skills….NOT as a performance
  • Ask yourself if there were any “aha” moments for you when you learned the material.   This will conjure up your enthusiasm and we all know that if you can impart that enthusiasm, you will engage their interest.
  • Increase your confidence and ease by practicing at home, standing in front of a mirror (or a sympathetic roommate)
  • DO NOT read from your notes but rather use them as talking points
  • Speak with words and tone that is both comfortable and natural
  • Make eye contact with your audience intermittently looking at your papers
  • Always check out the space before you speak, even if it is a familiar room to you….make sure the lights; temperature and arrangement of the chairs are to your liking. 

What are your tips to overcome nervousness? 

Stay tuned; next time we’ll be talking about 4 critical questions to ask yourself when preparing a presentation.

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