You have a presentation in a week. Every time you think of giving your presentation, you get that feeling, butterflies in the stomach. 95% of all people feel the sensation of “butterflies in the stomach,” leading to a presentation. We are all human, and the feeling of butterflies is normal. The part of the brain that makes us feel those butterflies is called the amygdala. The amygdala is in charge of invoking the fight or flight response within us. When you need to give a presentation, the amygdala invokes the fight or flight response. When the brain sends out this message to the rest of the body, the stomach muscles become extra sensitive, which is why it feels like we have “butterflies in the stomach.”
Are these bad feelings? Or good feelings? The choice is yours. Allow me to explain.
Because the fight or flight response is such a strong feeling, your mind, if left unchecked, will make the association that these feelings are bad. Then the question becomes, what do you have to do to convince your brain those feelings are good?
It is not as easy as telling your brain ‘hey, these are good feelings.’ You need to train your mind that these are good feelings. If you are diligent with your presentation preparation, practice your presentation, get constructive feedback from trusted mentors, and follow the presentation tips, you WILL give an excellent performance. After you give a good presentation, you are going to feel good. You will get positive feedback from the audience. What will be essential to do is associate the good feelings that were only achievable with the feelings you felt before presenting. The butterflies lead to satisfying feelings related to delivering an excellent presentation. When you do this, you will train your mind, so you will be excited vs. nervous when you feel those butterflies. Eventually, you will no longer feel nervous, but rather excited leading up to a presentation. You have prepared. You have practiced. You know you are going to give an excellent performance, of course, you are excited.
Diligent preparation and practice will help you train your mind that the butterflies are a feeling of excitement vs. nervousness. The sooner you get to this point, the faster your career trajectory will dramatically increase.
To help you be better, use Erticulate to optimize the process of practicing, receiving feedback, and giving feedback.