Executive Speaking Weblog

Communication – the future of business

Nervousness in Job interviews

Posted by Presentation Skills on September 2, 2007

 I am often asked for the secret for overcoming nervousness.  While there is no silver bullet that will cure nervousness, having a planned approach to any type of public speaking, or job interviews will help you control your nerves. 

Firstly, you need to be prepared.  There is no substitute for knowing your material.  If it is public speaking, you need to know what you are talking about.  If you don’t, then you will be distracted by the potential that the audience will know more than you. 

If you are in an interview, you need to know where you are going with your answers to the questions that you are asked.  If you don’t, the interviewers will pick it. 

You also need to realise that the audience does not want you to fail.  No interviewer wants the person in the chair to fail because they were too nervous.  It is a waste of everyone’s time.  In the same way, no audience listening to a speaker wants the speaker to fail.  So realise the audience and interviewer are on your side and want you to succeed. 

Finally, remember to breathe.  This may sound incredibly simple, but most people overlook it.  When breathing, use your whole lungs, and not just your chest; really get the diaphragm involved. 

Keep your breaths long and slow.  This will have the effect of slowing your whole body down, which will inturn slow your thoughts down.  When your thoughts slow down, you will remember what you want to say, and will be able to deliver it in the way that you need too.

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