It’s the night before an important event: a big exam, a major presentation, your wedding. How do you calm your nerves in preparation for the big day?
I recall being nervous when I was tasked with being the duties of masters of ceremonies during a family reunion. As I waited in the wings to take the podium, I was rehearsing my thoughts of what I was going to say, focusing on how I was going to introduce family members, when suddenly I realized, I was sweating profusely from my forehead to my neck, and my palms were cold and clammy.
I found some paper towels to wiped my forehead and dried my palms, as I began some deep breathing exercises to calm my nerves, which helped immensely. I could not believe what was happening to me. I the job I held, I was a public speaker and I have never had a problem with speaking before a crowd of people of any size.
Just as I took the podium and look out into the crowd of family members, I realized that I was going to be judged by my toughest critics, my family. In the past I have never had a problem with focusing on the task at hand and forging through to completion.
As I spoke, my nerves calmed down, and I was able to speak without any problems, however, during the time I was on stage, I also kept using Franklin D. Roosevelt’s quote from his first inaugural speech, “The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself”.
I learned the quote as a child when I complete a book report on Franklin D. Roosevelt, and I have used it many times before, such as a science project, a swim test, at Boy Scout Camp and just before the start of a my first date as a teenager in high school.