If you are the compere of any event, your access to behind the scenes activity is an eye opener. I have yet to meet any keynote speaker, confident speaker or even a practiced speaker who does not have some nervous moment before they enter the stage. They all do. It may not show once the speech begins, but the nervous energy is there. It is clear to me that a great speaker needs to be nervous. They need to be on edge, pace around, jump up and down – not to get rid of their nerves but to stimulate their nerves.
They will over-exaggerate their body movements – the handshake might be excessive, the smile too big, the eyes super wide. It is a high wire act and every nerve tingles and is alert.
This is what I learnt from our three day conference this week as I worked back stage with more than 20 speakers as they prepared for their moment in the spotlight.