Presenteritis is no laughing matter, but in the video above I have a bit of fun at its expense anyway.

The nasty little bug I call Presenteritis causes a suite of symptoms which can spell real trouble for speakers. The good news is that there is a cure – you don’t have to suffer forever.

But how do you know if you have Presenteritis in the first place? Here are five tell-tale signs.

  1. You can’t catch your breath. If you’re having trouble getting enough air in when speaking, pay attention to your breathing. It could well be that your Presenteritis is giving you shortness of breath – breathe in slowly for the count of three, and then out for the count of six. Taking twice as long to breathe out than to breathe in will beat Presenteritis.
  2. You’re having trouble with diction. A dry mouth is a classic symptom of Presenteritis, and can give speakers a hard time when they’re trying to enunciate clearly. Keep some water handy, get some moisture in there and wash the little bug away.
  3. Your tummy’s turning. Butterflies in your stomach is one of the quintessential signs that you have Presenteritis. If you’re standing on that stage and can’t concentrate for the churning, breathe deeply (see how all these are connected?).
  4. Your mind’s gone blank. This is so important: some people assume that if they can’t think of the right words it’s because they have nothing worthwhile to say. This is so not true – don’t listen to the Presenteritis bug! He’s trying to rob you of your confidence.
  5. Your hands are shaking. One of the nastiest tricks Presenteritis plays on speakers is making it harder for them to hold their notes without quivering. Tighten and release the muscles in your legs and feet to get rid of the adrenaline those nerves have caused – that will out-smart the little bug, and no one will know you are doing it.

Presenteritis makes you feel ill-prepared for speaking … and as in any other walk of life a lack of confidence just breeds more nerves.

Stop the vicious circle! Spot the symptoms and get in touch: we can work on the remedies together.

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