The famous Lemon Drop cocktail is a deceptively strong martini, made with fresh lemon and vodka. Any vodka drink that tastes more like lemonade than vodka is one to be wary of, but I recently, and uncharacteristically, polished off a few. The occasion was my daughter-in-law’s birthday, a few hours after a driver in a Range Rover making a left-hand turn mowed me down on my bike as I cycled across a six-lane street in Dallas.

To avoid a direct impact with the oncoming vehicle, I accelerated, turning the bike on its side. That intentional momentum, the lesser of two evils, caused me to slide myself and the bike along the concrete, thus barely missing the car’s wheels and fenders. Ouch. Amazingly, there were no broken bones, just torn muscles.

Since my nerves were as rattled as my body, the Lemon-Drop remedy offered a calming and welcome relief from temporary discomfort.

As anyone who speaks knows, “nerves” also can accelerate into hyperdrive when it’s time to make a presentation. When it comes to the speaking jitters, avoiding drugs and alcohol (even Lemon Drops) is the smart approach. There are other techniques that are much better for soothing rattled speaker nerves. Alcohol and drugs diminish your professionalism and effectiveness rather than improve it.

In any case, being good at speaking is not simply a matter of calming nerves. The better trick with speaking and nerves is finding a balance. You must maintain a strong energy, yet have your neurons activated and alert. You have to be aware to connect with an audience, while at the same time avoiding the appearance of nervousness. No speaker wants to appear nervous or have an audience be distracted by nervous body language.

Yet, for many speakers ─ most in fact, maintaining this kind of high/calm energy I am describing seems like a super-human balancing act. That is, unless you’ve taken the Speaking with Influence program.

I was lucky with my bike. Although the bike was mangled, I personally avoided a direct hit, a small miracle for which I am deeply grateful.

But a speaker dealing with nerves is never a matter of luck. All speakers have nerves to deal handle. That’s normal. Fortunately, in this situation, dealing with them effectively is an issue of skill. Physical activities, speaker exercises, and skill-building techniques are part of the remedy (not Lemon Drops). If you are a graduate of the Center Stage: Speaking with Influence program, you’ll know exactly what to do to handle all kinds of nervousness-related challenges. For example:

  • You’ll learn how to keep your energy high, but not so high that you seem nervous or neurotic.
  • You’ll learn how to sleep better the night before a tough talk.
  • You’ll learn how to use the biochemistry of your body to have a pleasant, strong, attractive energy your audiences will love.
  • And you’ll learn how to do it without needing the fuss and bother of mixing a Lemon Drop.

That’s a pretty good value proposition, don’t you think?

The next Center Stage: Speaking with Influence program is December 5-6, 2019. Click here to register or for more information.