Waiting to be admitted to the Zoom meeting, you feel the nerves begin to set in. With each passing minute, confidence slowly turns to anxiety and tension as you second guess yourself – Do you have the right meeting ID? How well do you really know your material? Did you practice enough? – Now feeling awkward and uncertain, you either race or slog through the video call detached from your audience and your message – completely missing the mark (and the sale). Virtual presentation nerves claim another victim.
Actors are No Strangers to Performance Nerves
An actor is no stranger to pre-show nerves! Though unlike the nervous salesperson silently sitting in front of their computer awaiting their doom, the well-trained actor knows that sitting still before a performance spells disaster – natural nervous energy quickly turns to tension when the body has no way to release it. Tension increases anxiety and anxiety can cause you to lose focus – as well as get physically, vocally, and emotionally smaller.
Very few audiences are convinced by an unfocused, anxious salesperson (or actor)! To maintain positive energy and focus before your video presentation, follow these tried and true tips from behind the curtain:
5 Actor’s Secrets to Master your Fear of Virtual Presentations
Create your own Green Room
A green room is an area where actors, television guests, or other performers wait until they are called to appear on set. Even without an actual designated room, a good actor will always seek out a space on set where they can concentrate on preparing for the performance ahead. You can do the same – find a quiet corner of your home or office to focus on your upcoming video call. The minutes before your video turns on is your green room, so use it wisely.
PRO TIP: Warm-up like an actor! If you go backstage before a performance, you’d see actors running lines, stretching their bodies, and vocalizing. Use this 7-Minute Sales Warm-Up to help keep your nerves at bay.
Check your set
Any good actor knows the importance of keeping focus before the curtain is drawn. You also need to commit to staying in the role – avoid distractions (#4) and stay focused on what you are there to accomplish (#5). You are there to play the role of salesperson, so don’t get pulled in another direction.
Move your body
In order to keep energy high and disperse nervous tension, actors will keep their bodies moving while backstage. Don’t hold back and have some fun with it – the privacy of your home allows for this. Do a little dance, sing a little song! Some jumping jacks or lunges! If you are looking for something more discreet, try simply walking around or standing up and rocking toe to heel. Whatever you choose, just keep your body moving.
Now selling from home, there are more distractions than ever before – children running about, the dog barking out back, a delivery person at the front door. Do your best to remove yourself from all distractions! This also means no checking your email or social media updates or calculating the commission from the sale.
Focus on your intention
Remind yourself of your intention/goal before joining your next virtual sales call – Why are you giving the presentation? What is the prospect looking for? What can you bring to the table? – This will help keep you on track and win the sale.
PRO TIP: When you’ve only got a few moments to prepare, focusing on the feeling you want to inspire in your audience is a powerful way to channel nervous energy into positive energy. (i.e. Do you want them to feel excited? Motivated? Intrigued?
Don’t let those presentation nerves rob you of focus and positive energy. Try these actor’s backstage tips for reducing nerves so you can really shine in the spotlight!
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