How to Calm Nerves Before a Presentation: Simple ‘Hack’

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Nervous Before a Presentation? A Big Meeting? An Important Pitch? We’ll Share With You How to Calm Your Nerves Before a Presentation.

Mollie Trainor is a student studying for a Master’s degree in psychology. She discovered a hack that can help us all to stop our nerves before a presentation. In her 1-minute TikTok video, she shares her top tip that can help us all to remain calm.

Simply, she shares, we need to tell ourselves:

‘I am excited’.

Both nervousness and excitement are high arousal states, and therefore it is easy to trick your brain to move from one high arousal state to another high arousal state. Typically, when we are nervous other people and ourselves tell us to calm down. Ever noticed that this has never worked? Mollie says that is because we are trying to go from a high arousal state to a low arousal state, which is hard to do. It is much easier to simply move from one high arousal state to another.

She shares her surprise at how effective the hack is. Thinking, as you and I, that we are much more advanced as humans and so simply telling ourselves something should not work. It does, she says as she did the research, read the studies and they all confirmed why it works.

One Study Supports the Hack

One of those studies was the ‘Get excited: Reappraising Pre-performance Anxiety as Excitement’, by Alison Wood of Harvard Business School. In the ‘Practical Implications’ section of the paper Alison writes (Click on the image below to read the research paper):

Links to Get Excited Performance anxiety study paper
Read the article by Harvard Business School’s Alison Wood


‘My findings demonstrate the profound control and influence we have over our own emotions. The way we verbalise and think about our feelings helps to construct the way we actually feel. Saying “I am excited” represents a simple, minimal intervention that can be used quickly and easily to prime an opportunity mindset and improve performance.

This tool may be particularly helpful for managers in organisations to motivate their employees. For example, advising employees to say “I am excited” before important performance tasks or simply encouraging them to “get excited” may increase their confidence, improve performance, and boost beliefs in their ability to perform well in the future.

Action: For even more useful content on presenting, check out our ultimate guide on presentation skills.

Watch Mollies TikTok Video

Just click on the image below to watch Movie share her thoughts on how to calm your nerves before a presentation:

Links to YouTube video with Mollie Trainor sharing a tips to calm your nerves before a presentation
Watch this video for tips to calm your nerves before a presentation

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