You know the drill.
Your heart starts to race. Your palms start to sweat while your mouth goes dry. You remind yourself to smile and pray you don’t draw a blank at a critical moment.
You’re either about to meet someone on a blind date, or you’re about to speak on camera.
If you’re looking into the eyes of a blind date, sorry; you’re on your own. But if you’re looking into the eye of a camera, there ARE things you can do to calm your nerves, collect your thoughts, and knock it out of the park.
Actually, the more I think about it, some of the solutions to these problems aren’t all that different after all.
For starters, head-games are half the battle. And I’m not even talking about if someone else is playing games with you. (Remember, on a first date those games haven’t started yet.) I’m referring to the internal head-games – some people might call it head trash – that you play with yourself.
Let’s face it: You can be your own worst enemy. And you know I’m right.
You constantly set the bar higher – a good thing in business development, but not when you’re always afraid you could or should have done better, never satisfied with your result. That wrecks havoc on your confidence, which is already under siege in front of the camera.
You’re also a pro at the “what if” game:
– What if I make a mistake?
– What if I draw a blank?
– What if they ask a question I can’t answer?
– What if I forget to smile?
– What if I fidget too much?
– What if the camera really does add ten pounds? I should’ve gone on a diet…
And what does all that accomplish? It sets you on a downward spiral of sabotage and self-fulfilling prophecies.
At that point, you’re like a major league baseball player getting up to bat and saying over and over to himself: Don’t miss… Don’t miss… Just don’t miss…
At best, that’s playing to not-lose. You need to adjust your thinking so you can play to WIN.
Here’s the first trick: Your body doesn’t know the difference between when you’re nervous or excited. Adrenaline is adrenaline. So when you feel the adrenaline kick in, along with the quickened heartbeat and shaky hands, don’t send yourself on that downward spiral by repeating “Oh my gosh, I’m so nervous… I’m so nervous… I’m so nervous” over and over again, mantra-like.
That’s psyching yourself out before you even get started, making the challenge both physical and psychological.
Instead, psych yourself into success. (After all, if you can talk yourself out of something, why wouldn’t it work the other way around too?)
When that adrenaline kicks in, change gears immediately, and repeat to yourself, “I’m so excited, I’m so excited, I’m so excited…” and get yourself pumped up!
And it’s not just empty words… you are excited. Think about it: you wouldn’t be nervous or excited if you didn’t care, and caring is good! And you probably care so much because this is a great opportunity for you to shine and get some good publicity for you and your company.
That’s what you should be focused on – and happy about!
Aligning your mind and body that way is the equivalent of getting up to bat and focusing your thoughts and efforts on knocking it out of the park.
Then SMILE as you say this to yourself – it actually has a positive psychological effect as well.
My video below, “Calming Your Nerves” from the series, “Capturing Your Confidence on Camera,” addresses this and other strategies you can use to get a grip on yourself and be calm, cool, and compelling in front of the camera.
And these strategies aren’t just for mastering camera presence. Whenever you need to capture the attention, minds and hearts of your audience, whether in an interview, giving a conference presentation, or on that first date, run through the strategy checklist in the video.
You’re sure to come across poised, charismatic and confident – and win them over!