What to Do When Interviews Make You Nervous

February 2005
by Roberta Gale

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Everyone gets nervous doing something. The mere thought of getting on a roller coaster, even a kid’s one, makes my whole body feel as if it’s preparing for certain death. Some people can’t fathom getting within a quarter-mile of a cow without running away screaming. Other people are unable go to a mall without experiencing agoraphobia.

And then there are those who have an instant panic attack when I mention being a guest on a radio or TV program. These folks would rather bungee jump into the Grand Canyon without a safety harness than get behind a microphone. The people I’m talking about may not necessarily be shy or withdrawn. Even those with the gift of gab at parties can clam up and break into a cold sweat when they imagine being on the air.

If you recognize yourself in that last scenario, you do have an obstacle to deal with, but it is not insurmountable.

Breathing Lessons

The first step in your road to recovery is to learn how to use your diaphragm. No, not the birth control device (that’s out of my area of expertise), but the muscles at the midriff, between the breastbone and the belly button.

Start by standing or sitting up straight. Rest your hand lightly on your diaphragm and breathe in deeply. Imagine that you’re drawing in the air right through your lungs and on into your stomach. Feel the diaphragm muscles pushing out. Allow the chest to expand, but let the diaphragm muscles do all the work. Then breathe o…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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