How to stop feeling wobbly

Jane Sheffield
Lead Trainer & Owner
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Do you ever feel on the back foot when you present?

Feeling inferior in some way, to those you are speaking to, is an uncomfortable feeling

Different situations can make us feel this way.

It might be that you are less experienced, or younger than your audience are.

Or, it might just be a group of people that intimidate you somehow.

How this feeling may present itself physically:

  • You stand with one foot behind the other
  • You stand off to one side
  • You rock from foot to foot

And here’s how it might present itself in what you say:

  • “I’m just going to quickly run through this”.
  • “Sorry”.
  • “I’ll be quick”

And any other phrases that suggest you feel guilty about taking up your audience’s time.

This approach erodes the effectiveness of your message.

As an audience member, think about how you feel when someone talks to you in this way. If the presenter looks and sounds uncomfortable, it makes the audience feel uncomfortable.

But the reality is this: If what you are saying is important enough to share, then you owe it to yourself (and your audience) to own it. No apologies needed (in your stance, or your words).

To own your message, you need to first own your space.

Try this:

  1. Come and stand in the middle of your speaking space.
  2. Stand with both feet shoulder width apart.
  3. Feel equally balanced between both feet
  4. Look at your audience. Really look – eye to eye.

Now you are ready to start talking.

Get off the back foot and on to both feet!

Stop presenting. Start talking. (And don’t even think about apologising!)


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