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Knowing that thousands of people will be watching you cranks up the pressure and prompts nervous responses.

Nervous symptoms such as sweating and shortness of breath can certainly interfere with the appearance of professionalism, and the audience won't be focusing on the information and its credibility if it's distracted by the reporter's unease. In contrast, nervousness is expected and is, in fact, desirable for the individual facing a large audience. A heightened nervous response and the resulting increased adrenaline flow can actually help make an individual more alert and add desired energy to a presentation. The broadcaster should also realize that the audience basically wants the presenter to do well.

After accepting that nervousness is normal and helpful, the broadcaster can use several techniques to help diminish feelings of fright and nervousness. Repeatedly breathing very deeply and slowly exhaling the air can be calming. For best results, breathe in as deeply as possible and release the air as slowly as possible, either by exhaling lightly through the mouth or by counting as high as possible while releasing the air. After a couple of deep, slow intakes of breath and long, slow exhales, the body will feel noticeably more relaxed. Repeat this procedure as often as necessary.

Relaxing the muscles can help reduce feelings of nervousness. Concentrate on one group of muscles at a time, make them tense and then release. For example, while sitting in a chair, tighten the leg muscles as much as possible, hold for a count of 10 and then release. Concentrate on releasing the tension as much as possible. Then choose another group of muscles, like arms, hands, feet or buttocks; tighten, hold and release. This technique can be used in a standing or sitting position and won't be noticed by others around you.


Remember: If anyone out there can do a better job than you: Then they should be up there doing it!


Rigorous exercise warms up muscles and helps relax the body. It might not be practical to run a mile before delivering a news report, but it may be possible to do a few jumping jacks or run in place for a few minutes. If vigorous movement doesn't seem appropriate, stretching muscle groups may be easier. Loose, warm muscles and relaxed breathing simply won't allow a noticeable nervous response.

Remember that most symptoms of nervousness do not show. Reporters and other public speakers often admit to being extremely nervous and feeling very uncomfortable on the inside when there are no noticeable outward signs of it at all. The viewers are naturally going to be on your side and want you to do well; they will not notice most of the nervousness that you may feel.

Finally, the best way to fight the nervous response and improve your performance is proper preparation. Practice reading the copy several times, and review your writing to make sure it sounds conversational, with short, declarative sentences. Think about the message of the story you're trying to communicate, and concentrate on the audience's response to the information rather than on your own feelings. Breathing deeply, making sure you relax your muscles and preparing properly cover most of the problems of nervousness in the beginning. Experience will take care of the rest. The more you appear on camera, the easier it becomes, and you may eventually find yourself missing the extra excitement of nervousness in your presentation.