Dealing with nerves

I’m 37 years into the broadcasting business and I usually answer “yes, I DO get nervous before a broadcast.”  That’s because my adrenaline is conditioned to kick in before I perform, causing my heart rate to increase.  I get a “case of nerves” because until I’m actually performing and the adrenaline can do it’s thing, I have to sit there with no place for the energy to go–hence “getting nervous.”

Adrenaline is a key ingredient to performing, helping you to achieve a high level of functionality and concentration.  The body gets you ready to perform with that burst of adrenaline, but you get nervous because you’re not yet on the air!  Once you do start to perform, the nerves often dissipate.   It’s no different than athletes before they perform–watch as they sway, shuffle their feet and take deep breaths as they’re forced to stand relatively still during the national anthem.  The adrenaline has already kicked in, but they have no place to use it until that first pitch, kickoff, tipoff or face-off.

I always say “nerves are the body’s way of getting you ready to be a success.”  But in order to deal with nerves or even worse, the onset of something more sever like a panic attack, you need to have a strategy.

My good friend Dr. Ann Utterback is a well-known voice coach.  Check out her blog “Make Friends with Adrenaline for Lower Stress”

Also, click on the links for other helpful hints.


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