Tim Ferriss' surprising trick to keeping calm under high stress

Author Tim Ferriss
Jemal Countess | Getty Images
Author Tim Ferriss

Tim Ferriss has a surprising trick to ensure his nerves won't get the best of him when giving a big speech — practicing with little or no sleep.

In a recent episode of his podcast, the best-selling author talked at length about the ways he prepared for his now viral TED Talk on defining fears instead of defining goals.

If you think back to the last time you were really nervous or excited about something, you might remember how difficult it was to fall asleep the night before. And if you've ever pulled an all-nighter, you know that you likely weren't feeling your best by the end of the next day.

Ferriss gets it. He says the worst thing you can feel after walking off-stage or out of the boardroom from a big presentation is: "I wish I had had more sleep."

But he also knows how hard it is to quiet those jitters.

In preparation for his TED Talk, Business Insider reports, Ferriss practiced under what he believed could potentially be the worst conditions. He slept for a mere four hours, and then waited around all day for the time his TED Talk would be scheduled to start.

Then, as if he was onstage for the real thing, he began to practice. This way, he would know that even if he didn't have a great night's sleep the night before, he had already prepared for those less-than-ideal circumstances.

Ferriss also has other tricks, including practicing with an accelerated heartbeat.

"You want to train as you're going to compete," says Ferriss. "You want to expose yourself to different kinds of stresses."

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See also:

Tim Ferriss' simple 3-step strategy for managing fear is his secret to business success

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