Do you get nervous before a pitch? How do you handle it?

Hanna Barzakouskaya
9 replies
I discover one additional tip on how to increase self-confidence just using power posing for a few minutes. Appeared, just two minutes in Superman posing make cortisol (hormone of stress) to be dropped and feel more powerful. It seems achievable and I'm going to try it next time. Let's share other tricks to become the best speaker? Do you have ones?


Practice, practice, practice! Over the last three years I've done a lot of public speaking and the biggest driver of improvement for me has been practising. I often practice a pitch or presentation many times beforehand, I'll pace around the room running lines and even stand in front of the mirror. It helps!
Richard Zack
I've done hundreds of pitches and always still get nervous, but have a little ritual that really helps me. Obviously, first you have to practice the pitch until it's muscle memory-- but to really inspire your audience, you yourself must be inspired. So to get there, I'll listen to music that gets inspires me right before showtime (yes, you're a performer). It clears my mind and energizes me. Then, I take a moment to visualize what inspires me to do what I'm pitching, and hold that idea firmly in my mind. Then when I get up on stage, I focus on giving as much of the "sunshine in my pocket" away to my audience as possible.
Heck yeah! Your body can influence your neurochemistry as much as your neurochemistry can influence your body - smiling making you feel happy, solid posture making you feel confident, etc. I like to do some pushups to get the endorphins rolling, force myself to laugh like a maniac to lock them in, and then imagine that my audience is just a bunch of babies wearing grown-up clothes. It doesn't always work but it takes the edge off 😂
Hanna Barzakouskaya
@eve_hammond Ha-ha! A funny mind game. Around body influence to neurochemistry, I found that social psychologists were skeptical around this technique. Papers trying to repeat this experiment did not show the original findings. It was too good to be true -)
@anna_panchenko oh no kidding! I found this on NIH: "Simulation studies on emotion have shown that facial actions can initiate and modulate particular emotions. However, the neural mechanisms of these initiating and modulating functions are unclear." - and this: "Adopting an upright seated posture in the face of stress can maintain self-esteem, reduce negative mood, and increase positive mood compared to a slumped posture. Furthermore, sitting upright increases rate of speech and reduces self-focus. Sitting upright may be a simple behavioral strategy to help build resilience to stress. The research is consistent with embodied cognition theories that muscular and autonomic states influence emotional responding." -
@anna_panchenko Nice, thank you! This is a topic that I'm super interested in. I think a common problem with these types of studies is that variations in subjective outcomes and interpretations of the outcomes often lead to a blanket denial of validity, in the same way that psychotherapeutic techniques are often rejected because the benefits can only be demonstrated in terms of subjective approximations. There's *plenty* of empirical evidence to support the connection between posture/behavior and emotional state, while we may not understand the particular neurological mechanism, and it may not be measurable or demonstrable in every variation of every study. I think the "happy middle ground" is that we can't always *guarantee* neurochemical effects, but we can bias them (since we know it to be true in *many* cases - maybe not *all* cases) and embrace the outcome, and accept that sometimes it might only be a placebo effect. I don't think there's anything wrong with that as long as the effect is generally positive :). My anecdotal experience and the experiences of my peers has demonstrated to me that it's a nice little hack, anyways 😂😂. I'd hate for people to ditch a potentially effective technique on account of a narrow collection of studies applied to an entire body of theory 😬