On the finale of America’s Next Top Model, Cycle 11, Tyra Banks gives a useful piece of advice about nervousness to finalists McKey and Samantha before their runway show:
How are we feeling? A little nervous? It’s okay to say “I am nervous.” Because when you do the “I’m not nervous [freaking out], I’m not nervous [freaking out more]!” When you say “I am nervous,” it just relaxes it, it gets it out.
As the popular saying (attributed to Carl Jung) goes, that which you resist persists. Therefore, by saying you’re not nervous, you’ll only make yourself more nervous. But if you start out by admitting that you are nervous, you can actually make progress toward feeling less nervous by using one of the many techniques that I’ve shared on this blog or in the Nervousness chapter of The Science of Speaking.
Update (6/29/17): Here’s a relevant article on accepting social anxiety, published a few days ago in Psychology Today.