So, you have a big presentation. It might be a sales call with a group of buyers, a meeting with executives or board members or speech on the stage in front of 20 or 200. No matter the venue or audience, how do you calm the nerves? You’ve probably already heard some of the worst advice ever: “Just imagine your audience naked.” Noooooo!! Not a good idea.
Here’s a better idea: imagine mom in the audience. If not your mom, imagine your most adored friend or relative. What would s/he be doing if sitting in the audience while you present? Smiles, interest, head nodding, leaning toward you… all non-verbal signs that s/he wants to see you win.
Find the audience member who is behaving like your dear friend or relative would act if in the audience. Make eye contact a few times during the presentation and feed off that positive energy. Let it grow your confidence. The smiles will quiet anxiety. Just don’t spend too much time making eye contact. That would be creepy.
Don’t see that person in the audience? Create it! How? Smile. Smile more than you think you need to smile. Amp up your energy. Just be you. Human beings reflect the behavior of those around them. If I meet you and you smile at me, I’ll smile back. It’s almost impossible not to mimic the smile.