As you enter your workshop room, your pulse races. You check your watch. 15 more minutes remain before go time.
Nerves cause you to fumble your usb drive as you work to upload your presentation. You grab your notes and review them one last time, fearful that you might be stumped by an unexpected question.
You glance at the clock one last time while trying not to obsess over the perspiration that you feel slowly seeping through the pits of your shirt. As you prepare to commence your presentation, you take a deep breath and begin.
Pause right there.
Nerves inevitably happen, but do not let them negatively influence your presentation or the audience's experience.
Grab Your Glasses. Re-focus.
Reconnect with your "why."
What lead you to teach this workshop (& possibly push outside your comfort zone)?
My guess is that you wanted to impact people’s lives for the better. Keep that at the forefront of your mind. Focus on your audience and that “why” rather than yourself, and watch your nerves diminish.
Welcome with Warmth
Have you ever felt out of place in a crowd? Think back to that first day at a new school or job where you didn’t know a soul.
That scenario can be intimidating. Often the newbie feels out of place and is more focused on that awkward feeling than the topic of the class lecture or work meeting. Then a teacher or boss chats with the newcomer, makes him or her feel comfortable, and introduces the newcomer to his peers. Immediately, that negative emotion is replaced with relief and appreciation.
Don’t let people feel out of place at your workshop. Make it your mission to ensure that they are comfortable and feel welcomed.
Find an excuse to meet them at the door. Share a handout, a cup of kombucha, a nourishing snack, or a simple smile and greeting.
Make eye contact with the client, introduce yourself, and connect. Try to learn a bit about them, and store that information away in your memory (or later in a notepad) in order to nourish the relationship better down the road.
If you have the opportunity to do so, introduce newcomers with other workshop participants. Help them build a support network. Both you and your client will benefit from having a tight-knit group. It’s a win-win! Here's why...
Client success: Social support is a key component to people adopting better health habits long-term. A culture of wellness is contagious.
Your success: Successful clients are chatty. All that talk leads to referrals, which will help your business boom!
At your next workshop, remember that nerves are normal. If butterflies appear uninvited, don't panic.
Instead, pre-occupy yourself with making others feel comfortable. Decreased focused on your own jitters or perceived shortcomings will bring you a step closer to having a chat-worthy workshop!
How do you make your audience feel comfortable? Share your tips in the comments section.