What Keeps You Awake The Night Before A Big Sales Presentation

Have you ever been nervous before a big sales presentation? Do your hands get sweaty just thinking about it? Does your stomach get all tied up in knots? How good are your presentation skills?

Does your mind start racing and imagining all the things that can go wrong? Is it hard to fall asleep the night before? When you wake up in the morning are you surrounded by a wall of butterflies?

Hey – I’ve been there and done that. That’s right, yours truly, author, professional speaker, and newsletter publisher has experienced all of the above.

So, are you wondering what happened to change all that? What changed and what allows me to feel very comfortable doing the things that once made me nervous and riddled with self-doubt?

Allow me to digress a little. I want you to know how bad my nervousness really was.

It all started in high school. I enjoyed the school politics. I got lucky and was elected sophomore and junior class president.

Lots of meetings and zero stand-up presentations.

Then, I somehow got elected president of the student body in my senior year.

Lots of meetings and I thought zero stand-up presentations.

I was in for the shock of my life. After the election, our high school principal, Mr. David Van Brunt, told me he had some additional duties for me during the next school year.

One of my new responsibilities included going on stage and leading the entire school, 900 students to be exact, in saying the Pledge of Allegiance.

So you’re thinking what could be easier?

Well it’s one thing to recite the Pledge when you’re standing up in front of your seat in the auditorium.

It’s something else to have to do it on stage facing 900 fellow students and all the teachers chit-chatting against the walls.

I won’t go into all the details about how nervous I was before the student assemblies – the only place you could find me an hour before show time was behind closed doors in the bathroom.

So that’s the problem. How did I fix it? In college, during an ROTC class, in my junior year, I was asked by the instructor to teach a class from a chapter in our textbook.

It was to be a 30 minute stand-up presentation to a group of 25.

Please read the next statement twice.

I was so scared – I prepared!

I was so scared – I prepared!

I didn’t sleep for two days.

Up to this point in my life I had never prepared so thoroughly as I did for this 30 minute stand-up presentation in front of my peers, and by the way all dressed in military uniforms.

Was I nervous – you bet!

Did I have the butterflies in the pit of my stomach – of course, but now they were flying in formation.

As soon as I began my presentation, the butterflies disappeared and all the anxiety was gone.

That’s the story and here’s the point.

Preparation eliminates anxiety! I never forgot that and neither should you.

Preparation turns self-doubt into self-confidence.

It just does!