6 Ways to Calm Your Nerves Before Hosting a Big Event

In 2014, Emma Watson delivered an address at the United Nations Headquarters in New York to promote HeForShe, a movement for the advancement of gender equality initiated by the UN.

It is a cause supported strongly by the actress and as a UN Global Goodwill Ambassador, she was asked to give a speech about the movement.

Her speech went viral and is one of the most viewed videos online to date.

Although the actress has been in front of the cameras for years, in an interview following the event, she admitted that she was extremely nervous before and during her speech.

Emma Watson, however, is not the only world-famous celebrity to suffer from stage fright. Many seasoned performers and TV and movie personalities also feel anxious before performing or speaking in front of a large crowd or the cameras.

With this in mind, whether you are a seasoned or first-time host or presenter, know that it is normal to feel nervous before presenting to a live audience.

Managing Your Presentation Nerves Before an Event

An esteemed professional MC in Dubai agrees that even the most practiced hosts and presenters can get a bit nervous before and even during an event. The trick is to learn how to manage this anxiety.

Below are the six best tips for calming your nerves and reducing your anxieties before hosting a big event:

1. Know your audience.

As the host, one of your primary jobs is to create a pleasant and engaging atmosphere for the attendees. Additionally, you have to know how to get the crowd excited and encourage them to participate in certain parts of the event.

You can efficiently reduce your anxieties about handling these responsibilities if you have an idea of who your audience is.

Speak with the organizers to know the audience demographics. Ask them who their target guests were when they were planning and marketing the event.

At the very least, ensure you know their age range and professional backgrounds.

Next, research the language that the audience is familiar with and trends that they are likely into.

Try to work them into your script and dialogues and practice using them so that you will feel comfortable saying them during the event itself.

2. Practice.

As already mentioned, anyone, including seasoned presenters, can have butterflies in their stomachs before hosting or presenting at an event. Reduce your anxieties by rehearsing multiple times beforehand.

Once you have the event program and you have created your script, rehearse. Practice in front of a mirror as you deliver your introductions and spiels.

Another rehearsal hack you can try is recording your presentation and playing it back to find out which areas you need to work on.

You can also let your friends watch or listen to this recording and ask for their feedback regarding your script and delivery.

Regardless of how long you have been an MC or presenter, keep in mind that each event is unique. By practicing several times before the affair, you not only reduce your worries but ensure you are prepared well for this hosting or presenting job.

3. Stay healthy.

Anxieties can often be aggravated if you are not in your best condition. As such, you will do well to stay healthy days before the event.

Some specific tips that will help you have a sound body and mind prior to the event are:

  • Minimizing or avoiding your intake of coffee, soda, and other caffeinated beverages and drinking more water.
  • Avoiding alcohol, especially the night before and day of the event.
  • Eating more fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins days before the event. Having a healthy diet can help you feel better and give you the energy you need to do your hosting or presenting job well.
  • Getting at least eight hours of quality sleep every night, especially on the days leading up to the event.

4. Release your pent-up energy.

If you are feeling too nervous about the upcoming event, you can release your negative energy and anxieties in various ways.

Getting enough exercise several days prior to your presentation can help you boost endorphins, which can alleviate your anxiety.

Head to the gym, take a walk, or go for a swim. If the event is late in the day or at night, try to get some exercise several hours before it starts.

Also, practice deep breathing. Breathing deeply allows your brain to get the right amount of oxygen and relax your body.

This technique can also help you prevent your voice from quivering, which can happen when your breathing is shallow and irregular due to nervousness.

5. Use positive visualization.

Positive visualization is a technique that allows you to achieve goals and master real-world situations by being optimistic.

Envisioning a successful outcome from your hosting stint can help you reduce your worries. Moreover, you will feel more confident, enabling you to become a more effective host or presenter.

To apply positive visualization before the event, imagine that your audience is happy, enthused, and engaged while rehearsing. Do the same during the event and you will have fewer butterflies or even none at all in your stomach.   

Add some positive self-talk and you are on your way to reducing your worries and being a more confident host worthy of the title of master of ceremonies.

6. Arrive at the venue early.

Reduce your pre-event jitters by going early to the event venue. Doing so allows you to have more time to calm down your nerves, get used to the setting and atmosphere, and get more energized for the event.

Arriving early also ensures you won’t be late for the event, a big no-no for hosts and presenters.

If you have not been to the venue before, arriving early also helps you become familiar with your surroundings. This will enable you to adjust to your environment and make you feel more comfortable while you are on the stage.

Lastly, since you still have some time before the start of the event, you can chat with the organizers and guest speakers. Additionally, you can also speak with the attendees who arrive early.

Talking with them can help ease your worries about your audience and the event itself.

Whether you are a seasoned or first-time presenter, with the right preparatory techniques and mindset, you can reduce your anxiety and host a successful event.


Hisham Wyne¬†is an internationally recognised MC, broadcaster, presenter and moderator who helps the world’s best-known brands create memorable occasions. He regularly hosts conferences, panel sessions, gala dinners and award ceremonies for some of the world’s best brands. With 150+ events under his belt, Hisham is the professional speaker that brands and agencies turn to when wanting to interview, engage and entertain government VVIPs and Hollywood celebrities.