The Small Business Beacon

Turning Nervous Into Awesome

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Turning Nervous Into Awesome

Contributed by Idea Collective Member:

Mitch Nelles

Mitch Nelles

Content Creator; Fundraiser; Connector; Vodcaster; Podcaster; Writer; Public Speaker

I'm nervous!

“I was nervous once. Then I decided to be awesome instead. Be Awesome!”

It’s amazing how often I find myself having this conversation with others. People I know who are confident AND competent. More than competent – AWESOME!

But unfortunately, far too often, people don’t see themselves that way. They see OTHERS that way. But for whatever reason (in-house psychologist, you’re up!) it is way more difficult to see the greatness within us.

More often than not, this conversation occurs when I find out someone has a public-speaking gig. As a professional emcee and auctioneer, and former on-air radio host, speaking comes naturally to me. But I realize that is not the case for many people. With that said, people make it seem WAY more complicated and scarier than it really is.

So, what do I tell them? I tell them to be awesome. I also tell them that nervous is GOOD. Nervous is energy. Nervous means you care. Nervous is normal.

But so is being your great self. So is sharing something YOU are an expert on with others. There is a reason someone asked YOU to speak. To share. To educate. To inform. To entertain. So, lean into it. Let it encompass and surround you. Show off!

Everyone needs to hear a different message when it comes to presenting and/or public speaking. Some things to keep in mind are:

  • You already know the material – let your knowledge stand out!
  • Know your audience – make sure you are speaking the right language
  • Feel free to picture your audience naked (it’s an old wives’ tale, but it’s based in truth). In reality, maybe not naked, but find a spot in the room (person/painting/outfit) that brings you joy, and present to THAT focal point
  • HAVE FUN! You got this and you know this – so make it fun!

Of course, there is so much more when it comes to public speaking, or prepping for an important meeting, but these are great starts. And public speaking doesn’t mean an audience of 50, or 500 (although it can). Public Speaking can also be an audience of one, in a private setting. Remember – you are still representing yourself and/or your company. You are still looking to make a connection, a sale, create a partnership or a collaboration.

In other words – there is ALWAYS an end goal. Keep that in mind. Let that motivate you. To be awesome.

While many of us know we are awesome (insert hubris here), we lack the confidence to make awesome happen. At the end of the day, that’s a major key to this discussion. Not our knowledge or expertise, but our confidence to activate said knowledge and expertise.

There’s no real “how-to” to be confident. Tons of mental health experts and coaches are in this field, and if it was easy, they’d all be out of a job. I am NOT suggesting it’s easy. For me, the key is “Bird by Bird”.

“Bird by Bird”, by Anne Lamott, is a great book about writing. The concept comes from a discussion her brother, as a pre-teen, had with their dad, a writer. Anne’s brother had a report due on birds the next day in school, hadn’t started it yet, and had books and books piled on the table. His dad asked him what his plan was, and Anne’s brother replied that he did not have one. Their father, the writer, replied “Bird by Bird…”

This is to say, no one can go from “nervous” to “awesome” immediately. It takes time. It takes patience. It takes practice. But it IS doable!

Pic up the mic (or the pen, or the hairbrush) and practice in the mirror. Practice on your pets. Practice with friends and family. This could be your “once-in-a-lifetime” TED Talk, or it could be your NEXT presentation to get someone to buy YOU (your business, your expertise, your goods and/or services).

Don’t stop being nervous. Use those nerves, use that energy, use that passion… and turn it into awesome. You got this.

Mitch Nelles

Contributed by

Mitch Nelles

Content Creator; Fundraiser; Connector; Vodcaster; Podcaster; Writer; Public Speaker; Auctioneer; Sales

I hope to use my voice to bring people together, practicing kindness, listening and acting, to facilitate a better and more productive community. Sports is the distraction – a needed one. Real life is just that – real.

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