In our last post we spoke about the biology of stage fright or speaking anxiety and how many people suffer from it. Here are a few strategies and tools to help you overcome your stress and anxiety when giving a speech or presentation.
The Week before your presentation or speech:
– Work on your deep breathing exercises.
– Practice, practice, practice.
– Be well prepared with a great speech. Make notes on index cards instead of paper to avoid shaking them.
– Memorize your opening and closing.
– Do your vocal exercises- warm up with a poem or a tongue twister.
– Record yourself delivering your speech to review what to work on.
– Get enough rest, eat a healthy meal a few hours before your presentation and exercise.
The Hour before your presentation:
– Be in the room to triple check everything including reviewing your notes, checking the a/v equipment and speaking to any organizers.
– Speak to other presenters or audience members to feel more comfortable.
– Drink some non-caffeinated tea to relax your body and your throat.
– Bring an mp3 player and listen to a song that relaxes you.
– Take a quick stroll outside.
– Begin to take deep and slow breaths.
– Close your eyes and visually walk through your presentation. Imagine the audience responding, think about the goal of your speech and concentrate on how great the presentation will be.
When anxiety strikes during your presentation:
– Slow down and breathe.
– Remember the audience is likely to not notice if you take a moment to control it.
– If you are twitching or suffering from trembling legs, move casually or slightly lean on the podium.
– Look at people you know in the room or the friendliest audience members and make eye contact.
– Joke about your anxiety or stumbling, or use a quote to illustrate how many people suffer from anxiety – then move on.
What do you do to control your nervousness? Comment below…
If you need more support or help don’t hesitate to contact Release Your Voice for individual help or group sessions.