Deal with nerves

Deep breaths

Excitement, like nervousness, is caused by adrenaline making your heart beat faster and pump blood around your body. It also quickens your breath (the feeling of being short of breath). If you can slow your breathing down, you can slow down your heart rate and reduce your feeling of nerves:

“Take a few deep breaths.”

Try this exercise in the minutes just before you get up to give a presentation:

  • Take a long, slow deep breath in. Make it as slow and long as you can, and draw in as much air as you can.
  • Hold your breath just for a moment.
  • Let the breath out again, slowly. Breathe out all the way until you have nothing left in your lungs.
  • Pause again just for a moment.
  • Repeat the whole process two or three times until you begin to feel a bit calmer.


Take slow, deep breaths.Fast deep breathing will make you hyperventilate and get dizzy.  Just do enough to make yourself feel calmer. If you feel nerves rising again, repeat the process.