Tips to help you perform under pressure
Does your mind go blank when you’re set to present to a room full of people, do your nerves get the better of you in meetings or job interviews, or do you crumble in a heap when you simply have too much to do? Well you’re certainly not alone. While some people appear to thrive on a bit of pressure or extra stress, others don’t respond so well. But fortunately there are measures you can take to improve your response to pressure and perform at your best.
- Learn to relax – If you can feel yourself becoming overwhelmed, try to consciously relax your muscles and slow yourself down by doing some slow deep breathing. Take a deep breath in, hold for three seconds and then slowly breathe out. It’s also a good idea to have an outlet from your daily stresses such as exercise, yoga or meditation. Some people might find practising “mindfulness” helpful. This is a technique of focusing your attention and awareness on the present rather than the past or future.
- Be realistic – Give yourself permission not to be perfect. If you make a mistake during a presentation or interview just keep going gracefully, it’s unlikely that anyone will have even noticed.
- Focus on what you can control, but don’t try to control everything – When planning a presentation, practice but don’t memorise it word for word because if something goes amiss, it will only increase your stress. Also think about likely questions, ways to answer questions that you don’t know the answer to, and learn how to convey the key points of your talk concisely in case you run out of time.
- Consider supportive supplements – The herb Korean ginseng enhances physical performance, reduces mental fatigue and may be beneficial during times of stress.
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Published May 8, 2014
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