Ask Esther…I can be tearful in pitches – how do I hold it together?

Ask Esther

Esther Stanhope is international speaker and communications expert.

A former BBC producer she’s rubbed shoulders with the likes of Madonna, George Clooney, Theresa may and Boris Johnson.

She now helps talented people in business, like you to speak up in meetings and conferences, get their voice heard and radiate charisma, confidence, gravitas and credibity.

If you have any questions for Esther about the way you come across at work, as a leader or when you’re chairing a meeting, fire away. Ask anything.

Email; [email protected]

Dear Esther,

Thank you again for your brilliant tips and advice, I saw you speak a while back and I gained a lot from it!

I have a question. When it comes to pitching and presenting, I often get very passionate.  Sometimes my emotions get the better of me and I can be tearful or start ’losing it’ during a personal story that I care about.  What are your tips for being able to keep it together during a pitch?

Thank you again for your help.

Kindest regards,



Hi Bao, thank you for your letter. I’m so glad you enjoyed my LIVE session in London.   I know how you feel!  We’ve all been there.

Sometimes the pure adrenaline pumping through our blood raises our heart rate and that temporary feeling of being overwhelmed triggers tears, brain freeze, sweating, shaking, going red and a whole host of ‘non-verbals’ that can spoit any slick pitch.

My book ‘Glossophobia – fear of public speaking’ is all about delivering and managing yourself in pitches and presentations and will be out later this year.  Do look out for that.

Hey don’t worry, having a bit of a wobble is temporary. Any spike in emotion will pass.  It’s a case of managing it not fighting it.  Sounds like you are very passionate which is great.

Do remember that some emotions can work in your favour.  Your audience may not want ‘slick’ and ‘perfect’. They like to know you are human and have ‘real’ feelings and ‘real’ passion.  That’s something you can’t rehearse, however, you can be true to yourself and don’t worry, you can ‘keep it together’.

Here are two super simple ‘ keeping it together tips’ one – long term, two – quick fix

TIP One – Practice practice practice. 

The best thing is to articulate your personal story over and over again to friends, family and anyone who will listen.   Then it will become normal, part of your usual conversation.

You don’t want to save the emotional story for the moment when you need your body and voice to be in control!

TIP Two – For a quick fix. Good old fashioned slow breathing (in through the nose, and out through the mouth) is the practical quick-fix-physical tip here too.  If you take a few deep breathes to get your head in gear, you’ll find it a lot easier to control your emotions and compose yourself. It literally takes seconds.

A bit of passion is good as long as it doesn’t stop you from communicating your message – let it out!

Good luck!

Ask Esther … letters

I would LOVE to hear your confidence, communication and career dilemmas at work. Please do CONTACT ME [email protected] with your questions about how you come across to your audiences; your boss, clients and colleagues.  Do you captivate your audience in a meeting?  Do you know how to influence the ego? I can help.

Tell me your stories and I’ll give you some game changing free advice and more.

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