Events. What a sure fire way to bring up some nerves. Even for people like me who are in the freaking industry, I still get nervous before my own events or before networking events where I don't know anyone. That being said, there are a few things you can do to ease the butterflies a little whether you are a host or a guest.
IF YOU ARE THE HOST
Have a Plan
Seriously, with a good plan you won't have any nerves about the running of the day. Plan your whole week out if you need too and include the content rehearsal, last minute briefings with your team, confirmation with suppliers, when you need to get your hair or make up done and even when you need to pack the car.
Know Your Content
This one will quell the nerves about not being good enough or screwing up. Make the time to practice your content and delivery out loud with any audio or visual (bonus points for doing it in front of friends or family). No one ever gets up there without having rehearsed a few times so even if you know what you are talking about, make the effort to give it your all.
Look At Your Guest List
Who is coming to your event? If you get a bit nervous meeting new people and the names are unfamiliar, try and find a little more info about them. When they arrive, you will already know a bit about them, what they do and potentially how you can help them.
Getting nervous thinking about whether you can handle it all yourself? Get help. I will NEVER put on a professional event with helpers. There's absolutely no way I can do everything myself and I need to be available to those who need me most and at a paying event that is my attendees, my speakers and my sponsors. And even then I still feel a bit stretched. If you have someone there to assist with the venue, catering, checking names off etc, you won't have to freak out if something goes awry.
Do Something For Yourself
If you love kinesiology, get massages, consult with a coach or do anything that works on bettering your mind, body and spirit, make sure you schedule it in close to your event. It can help clear blocks and tension and help you feel more relaxed on the day.
IF YOU ARE THE GUEST
Have a Plan
Yes, this one again! Sometimes nerves come from going somewhere for the very first time, not knowing anyone going or not knowing what to expect. I usually make a plan that involves looking at what time to get ready, when I need to leave the house, how to get there and where to park, where exactly it will be at the venue, if I need to eat beforehand, which key people I'd like to approach and what types of social media posts I'd like to get from it. For me, having some type of plan means I have some control over the situation which then allays my nerves.
Give Yourself Permission
Before you go, give yourself permission to:
Leave early if it's boring, sucky or if you feel uncomfortable.
Start conversations with complete strangers.
Speak to the host or speakers even if they are really intimidating (in a good way!).
Feel a bit awkward at times.
I promise you, it's ok. You'd be surprised how many other people feel shy in these situations as well. It's a rare person who can swan into an event, not know anyone and dazzle everyone with their charm!
Putting on that red lippy makes you feel good, don't it? Just like putting on those heels or bringing that new clutch you just bought. Whatever makes you feel good - do it!
Think of Some Ice Breakers
Yeah, it can be totally awkward dot com when you are standing next to someone and you know you both want to speak to each other but neither of you knows what to do. Break the silence with an intro line - no matter how lame you think it is! You could say, 'Hi, my name is ____. Have you been to one of these events before?', 'Do you know much about the speaker?', 'This is my first time at this event and I'm excited to meet some new people. What brings you here?'. Another great way to break the ice is to offer the host your assistance with anything they need doing. They will most likely say no but will be very grateful for your offer and will most likely have a soft spot for you all evening!
Good luck and if there's anything else that helps you I would love to know!