Is it normal to feel nervous when getting ready to talk to a group?

I was sitting in a meeting recently, and a person got up and said they were very nervous and a little anxious being up in front of the group.  The person running the meeting said “that is normal and natural to be that way. Many great actors and speakers are that way, and it is just a matter of taking it slowly and getting used to being there.”

I have heard that statement sometimes mentioned in meetings I have been in, and I have read it on websites and anxiety blogs over the last several months.  The question that comes to mind for me, which I want to ask you is, Do you need to feel nervous or anxious when getting up to present a talk to a group of people? Is it natural to feel this way, or is it an unfounded fear that we have created within ourselves?

Imagine if you knew people who said they were excited and thrilled to get up and talk. Then after their talk, they were even more pumped up and ready to do it again. If other people can do it then the question is “could you be excited rather than anxious or nervous?”

I think the reason why so many people accept the feeling of being nervous and anxious about presenting and talking to groups is that they do not know that they can feel different when talking to your team, a group or any audience.

Have you ever seen little children getting up excited and singing, dancing, doing magic tricks or other entertaining activities in front of family and friends?  They are not nervous or anxious.  They Just enjoy what they are doing.

To me, the idea of saying it is normal to be nervous or anxious when you talk is because they do not realize that this can be different. When you have any fear, you will look around to others to support your fear of being normal.  So you will often not see the opposite of being excited about getting up in front of others unless it is specifically pointed out to you.

I recently stood up in front of over 100 people and presented my ideas to them.  Before I got up, I was excited and knew what I wanted the audience to know. After getting up, I was feeling the excitement and joy that flowed through my body.

I recently confirmed that I am not the only person who experiences speaking in front of people this way, I checked with other NLP Trainers and NLP Master Practitioners who are members of the Australian Board of Neuro-Linguistic Programmers (ABNLP).  There were a variety of comments about how they felt, and amongst them were two people who were similar to me.  Then I heard from a friend about a meeting this week, where a woman got up to talk, and she expressed the similar views to me, about being excited and ready to jump up. So that makes at least four people who feel excited to present their messages rather than be nervous or anxious.

So, I propose this idea to you.  Is it normal to feel nervous and anxious or is it a learned behavior that many people believe is true about getting up and presenting? You can get up and present with enjoyment and excitement.  If you or anyone else you know get nervous or anxious when getting up in front of an audience, what would need to happen if you or they decided to move to enjoyment and excitement instead?

Action for you to take

There is a saying “what the believer believes, the prover proves.” A belief is not a fact; it is something that we will try and prove is real

To challenge those beliefs that are not true about nervousness, ask yourself these 5 questions:

  1. Do I need to get up in front of any audience?
  2. If I feel nervous or anxious, does it help me?
  3. Am I prepared to resolve this?
  4. What do I prefer to feel: nervous or excited?
  5. Do I choose to create the feeling of excitement when I am getting ready to jump up and sharing my message?

Now that you have answered them, is it time for you to decide to be EXCITED to get up in front of people?

Want to know more about overcoming presentation anxiety?

Get a copy of my latest report on the 3 Secrets to Eliminate Presentation Anxiety. Register at:

Have a good week

 David Donahoo

The Eyes of Horus

Transform your dreams of releasing your anxiety using your mind and spirit.

1 Comment

  • Di

    August 31, 2017

    Thank you for this information, David. I just gained a whole lot more perspective on how to tackle any uncomfortable state that I might experience, not just pre-talk nerves. You have reminded me about the many unconscious decisions we make everyday about how we are choosing to feel, often without realising.
    Thanks again for another erudite article.