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Stuart Avis

DP World London Gateway

Learning and Development Officer

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Blushing when presenting


I had a candidate on a presentation skills course recently and when she was presenting she would start to blush and get red in the face and around the neck area. She did confide that does happen a lot when she is presenting and is connected to nerves.

I have suggested the usual ways to deal with nerves including preperation, breathing techniques, understanding why we get nervous and anchoring techniques, but I would like to know if anyone has had any experience in dealing with this type of problem and what you would suggest to help overcome it.



4 Responses

  1. involuntary/unconscious behaviour

    Hi Stuart

    a blush is a totally involuntary action and cannot be deliberately controlled (in the same way that fidgetting can).

    IMHO the only "solutions" are as you have already suggested plus consistant exposure to the stimulous (ie public speaking) to make the situation more commonplace and thus less psychologically stressful.

    I had one delegate with the same problem (hers started at her neck and worked its way up to her face) but she found that after three iterations of making a presentation to a live audience and video camera and then watching the video and critiquing it (positively and with constructive comment from her peers) the blushes faded into insignificance.


    I hope that helps


  2. Blushing

    There's nothing much you can do to stop blushing. When I was younger I was almost perpetually red in the face, as anything which called attention to me made me self-conscious. My way of coping was to pretend it wasn't happening and just carry on. Indeed as a university student I worked at a pub which only kept taking me on in the holidays because they thought it was hilarious that everytime I took an order I would blush.

    It doesn't happen so much now – but when it does I still just pretend it's not happening. Keep calm and carry on…..

  3. Blushing

    I agree with the previous comments about carrying on and ignoring it.  Also, remind your colleague that, as presenter, she is the least important person in the room – the most important being her audience.  If she concentrates on them and not on how she is feeling she is less likely to blush or exhibit any other involuntary behaviour.

  4. Blushing

    Hi Stuart,

    I had a client in a similar situation and her solutions was to wear something which covered her neck such as a scarf/roll neck jumper. She found that because she was confident that no one could see her blushing neck this calmed her down and her face didn't blush as much. After a number of presentations the blushing wasn't the focus of her attention and she could then lose the scarves!

    Hope this helps!


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Stuart Avis

Learning and Development Officer

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