Nervous Mannerisms

What do you do when you are nervous?

Everyone has different reactions to nervousness. By being aware of your particular nervous mannerism, you can work to overcome them.

Here are some common mannerisms exhibited when giving a speech.
Do you do any of them?

    Bite your fingernails

    Tap your feet

    Wave your hands/arms

    Play with your hair

    Move around a lot

    Speak too fast

    Speak too slowly

    Become stiff


    Play with objects in pockets, etc.

    Make strange facial expressions

    Say "uh", "uhm"

    Tap on the table/podium

    Repeat yourself

    Breathe heavily



    Pause inappropriately

    Clam up/Become speechless

    Shift your eyes

    Move your head around

    Gesture inappropriately

If you do any of the above, it can be distracting to your audience. Being aware of what you do is the first step to overcoming the habit. Watch a video of yourself, or have a colleague or friend watch you make a presentation and then give you feedback on your good and bad points. He/She can also point out if you are using any of the above nervous mannerisms.