How to Cope With Nerves?

The best way to illustrate this lesson is by a short story. There’s a story that I will never forget and learned my lesson the hard way.

Once there was a young student who used to take part in every public speaking competition he could ever join. During one of the competitions, he prepared for it, memorized his piece and even asked his teachers to criticize his performance before going up the stage for the final show.

He started confidently and as everyone was watching and waiting for the next word he would say, he got nervous upon seeing somebody among the audience; his mind went blank and completely forgot his speech.

Everything in his mind was gone and nothing would come out of his mouth, everything is gone. Then silence came as if it was no one was around, a few seconds later, the audience started to cheer and clap their hands in aid of the young student.

Then, he left the stage with a broken heart knowing he already lost the competition.

The results came and guess what?

He lost the competition!

As a result, he also lost his self-confidence. Just because he got nervous, and forgot his speech.

If only there was someone who taught him how to handle this kind of situation on what to do when he forgets his line or even his whole speech, he should have done it better, but there was no one.

With this experience, he learned his lesson and when he went to the university, he was determined to overcome his failure and he continued to compete and became one of the best public speakers during his school days.

That is how serious this thing could be if not dealt with properly.

Some common factors why people get nervous in delivering their speeches are the following:

  • Audience
  • Subject matter
  • Venue set-up
  • Preparation
  • Self-esteem

Allow me to guide you so you can cope up with your nerves and be able to deliver and finish your speech with command and confidence. Follow my practical guidelines.


  • Make research beforehand about who your audience will be during your speech presentation. Make sure to be ready to face even your worst enemy during that time.
  • If you are scared of a certain individual, like your boss, former classmate, colleague or anyone else, you have to deal with it beforehand.
  • Make peace with your enemy or whoever is making you insecure, do not stand in front of an audience wishing that your former best friend who is making you insecure not show up because when he/she does, your confidence will be greatly affected.

Consider the following scenarios:

Scenario 1

In the classroom

If you are in the classroom and you already know everyone, that is a good thing, all you need to do is follow the other steps.

Scenario 2

Unknown audience

If you are speaking to an unknown audience, make sure to be early at the venue and try to find out who is going to be your audience.

Doing so will greatly help you with your delivery and how you deal with them as you go on with your speech delivery.

Scenario 3

Speech competition

If you are in a speech competition, wherein everything is formal and sometimes televised, make sure to know both your competitors and your audience.

Doing so will greatly help you with your delivery and how you deal with them as you go on with your speech delivery.

Sometimes the cameras and judges are very intimidating but do not worry about them, just focus on your speech delivery.


Mastery is the best remedy!

Be a master of your subject matter both mind and heart so that when you forget your lines along the way, you can always say something related to it with ease and confidence.

Before your speech delivery, keep your copy away and relax, drink some water, but not too much, go to the bathroom and make yourself comfortable.

At this time, you feel butterflies in your stomach, which is normal, as long as you know your subject matter, do not worry, relax and keep calm.


If you are not familiar with the venue and the setup, try to visit it and see how you can move around and get a feel of it so that when it is your time to deliver your speech, you know how to use the stage properly for your benefit.

While you are at the venue, here is what you can do:

  • Try to practice at the venue if you can. Walk on the stage, and feel the atmosphere.
  • Study the physical structure of the venue, where the judges, VIPs, and other important people are going to sit.

Doing all these things will help you be ready and when you get up the stage, you will know how to engage your audience during the process of delivery.


Nothing beats preparation, it is the foremost and most important thing that you should do.

For 7 days, you memorized your speech and for a couple of days, you rehearsed and that gave you the advantage.

In addition, take care of the following;

  • If you are using a PowerPoint Presentation, make sure it is ready, and if you have other visual aids, get it all ready before everything begins.
  • If you have no materials to prepare, get some tissue or towel ready. You will need these, trust me.
  • Keep your mobile phone off during that period. Get yourself ready and avoid any form of distractions, especially your phone.


Believe that you can do it and you can surely do it.

If you do not trust yourself, no one will. You have to believe that you can do it or trouble will find its way. It will pull you away from your success and your delivery is doomed to fail.

You are the first one to believe in you before you can convince others to follow. Take a deep breath and command yourself to go out there and take the stage with command and confidence.

If you believe that you can do it, you can do it!

Here is what you should do:

  • Say to yourself “I BELIEVE I CAN DO IT”, and you can do it.
  • Do not entertain any negative thoughts

The positive mind gives you the spirit to keep on going even if things seem to be not in your favor.

Command yourself to think positive when you are feeling negative things before you deliver your speech.

Again, say to yourself

“I BELIEVE I CAN DO IT” and, you can do it!

With these guidelines, you can finally deal with your nerves and be a fantastic speaker. Follow it and you will successfully deliver your speech with ease.

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