The nourishment of nerves


Do you get nervous before a big event? What's the best way to deal with a sudden storm of the shakes? Here's an idea...

Simon Hall writes:

What's the best way to handle those jingle jangle nerves before a big event?

Again this week I was asked a question which often comes up...

Whether I get nervous before a presentation, lecture, or talk.

I've done so many now, the thought goes... surely I don't?


No matter what size or shape the event, I still get that electric buzz of nerves. 

This was a brief talk I did to a relatively small audience on the importance of classy online content.

And just before it began...

BUZZ! There go the nerves.

Below was a much bigger event, at the Judge Business School, on how to get your message across in business -

Before it came the familiar BUZZ, but here's the odd thing - 

The nerves were about the same intensity for both events, regardless of the very different sizes.

Why? What's going on there, then?

It's simple.

Nerves are good for you.

If you don't get nervous, you don't get that critical shot of adrenaline which helps you to perform. 

The mind doesn't clear and concentrate, be ready to pivot and adapt, depending on how the session goes and the needs of the group. 

You don't project and perform, play the part that's expected of you. 

As teacher, yes, but also as entertainer. Which is a big part of the presenter's job.

All that comes from a sweet shot of shuddery nerves. 

Which means they're not to be flustered, irritated, or distracted by. They should be embraced. 

Because, for me, nervousness is the nourishment of a powerful performance.


I'm a tutor, lecturer and coach in Communications and Business Skills at the University of Cambridge. I also run my own media, public relations and design consultancy, Creative Warehouse, work in government, and across the private and public sectors.
I can offer communications support in all areas, including:
Branding, reports, investment pitches, presentations and speech writing ~ Conventional and social media ~ Websites ~ Photography and videography ~ Public speaking ~ Crisis communications ~ Building your personal brand

Simon Hall Communications