Michael Bay, famous for directing and producing big budget action films with impressive special effects, is now infamous for his stage fright. It seems everyone is talking about it. Even Tina Fey and Amy Poehler threw Bay a zinger at the Golden Globes last Sunday night.

If you haven’t seen the clip yet, you can take a look at the video here.

This situation is every nervous presenter’s worst nightmare. There is no doubt that he can answer the simple questions asked by the Consumer Electronic Show’s host. But when his teleprompter goes down, Bay’s nervousness takes over and within 30 seconds he apologizes and leaves the stage.

We sympathize with him. Handling nervousness is probably the most oft asked question of our coaches. The adrenaline that builds up in the body before a big talk is both a blessing and a curse.

We often say “You don’t rise to the occasion – you fall to your level of practice.” We teach participants to breathe deeply and rely on their rehearsed physical delivery skills to get them through. And perhaps Michael Bay, with his years behind the camera, didn’t give enough attention to practicing what it would be like in the spotlight. He could not harness his internal reaction to give his talk more energy and enthusiasm – we saw panic, not passion. Learn how to use your body’s response to stress to give you both  the energy and excitement you need to succeed at your presentation.

Also, practicing your talk and being prepared just in case a curve ball comes your way is important. If you know your content, with or with out the teleprompter or slide deck, a technical glitch wont send your nerves into overdrive.

When Nerves Got the Best of Michael Bay