Nervousness, speech anxiety, stage fright, panic can cause problems for you in storytelling.
But nerves show your presentation of your story is important to you; so, that’s good.
Nervousness will increase if you are not familiar with your material.
Practice your story and revise it until you can present it with ease.
The order of pre-occupation is: the story, the audience, you.
Get the story right and the audience will love you, then you will love yourself and your nerves will flee.
Stand to rehearse; and smile. Use a mirror and tape recorder to rehearse if it helps.
Before you arise to tell a story, relax by sitting comfortably with your back straight. Breathe in slowly, hold the breath and slowly exhale.
Stand straight, arms extended over your head. Bend over and touch your toes.
Extend arms out at your sides; turn your head and torso to the left. Return to centre then turn to the right.
To relax facial muscles, open your mouth and eyes wide and close them tightly.
Imagine yourself walking confidently to the telling space to applause.
Imagine speaking in a voice that is loud, clear, assured. Picture applause as you finish.
Visualize your success and you will be successful.
Audiences want storytellers to be interesting, stimulating, informative and entertaining. They want you not to fail. They want to hear a good story
If you mention your nervousness or apologize, you’ll only call attention to it.
Speak clearly. Don’t shout or whisper. Don’t rush, or talk too slowly.
Deliberately pause to emphasise the importance of a particular point.
Take a breath after each full stop. Count one two, silently, at the end of a point.
Look at the audience as much as possible, but don’t settle on an individual. They may have some problem at home and not be listening to you, at all. Don’t let their preoccupation become yours.
Pitch your presentation of story towards the back of the audience, especially in larger rooms.
Avoid moving about too much. Pacing up and down can unnerve the audience.
If the audience becomes restive, you may doubt yourself and the story may take flight away from the room.
More techniques here