Fear of public speaking is No.1. Death is No.4. So most
people would rather get a root canal and pay their taxes
than speak in front of an audience!
1. Sure you have catecholamine; all speakers do (including
Sir Winston Churchill and Presidents Kennedy, Carter, and
Reagan). These are the chemicals that make you sweat, make
your heart beat fast, and make your hands shake. Get rid
of those chemical and psychological reactions by becoming
message-centered and audience-centered, not self-centered.
2. Replace fear and negative noise with positive
affirmations. Create new beliefs that nurture you and
support you with new ways of thinking. The New Adult You!
For example, I am well prepared, and the audience wants me
3. Do a quiet meditation, visualization, or exercise
before you speak. Breathe deeply. Deep breathing sends a
message to your brain that you have nothing to fear. It
calms you down.
4. Who cares if youíre nervous? Researchers have found
that most people report noticing little or no anxiety in a
speaker. If you are thoroughly prepared, your internal
nervousness seldom shows. Prepare 150%.
5. The Coach Says... Practice in front of your mirror.
Practice in the car. If you can concentrate while driving,
you will be able to pull what you need from your
unconscious when you are in front of the group. Make your
points sound spontaneous and conversational.
6. Rehearse, rehearse, and rehearse. Talk out loud, and walk
around while you practice. Use the same physical energy
you plan to use on the day of your presentation.
7. Exercise is antidote to stress. Arrive early and take a
brisk walk for at least five minutes. If it is raining or
snowing outside, you can still do some body stretches.
8. Abstain from caffeine and alcohol before you speak. You
donít need more jitters. Always wear your favorite outfit
and use attractive colors. Women, go simple on the
jewelry. Avoid too much black and white.
9. The Coach Says... Most of all; enjoy you and have a
fun. SMILE. After all, arenít you glad to be there? The
sign of a mature adult is that you are not taking yourself
10. For trembling hands, place your hand son the side of
your chair and count to 10 as you try to lift the seat.
This is an isometric exercise that works and nobody will
notice you doing it.
11. Donít be perfect. Give yourself permission to make
mistakes. No one is perfect in real life. Get the
butterflies in your stomach to fly in formation. Thatís
who you convert your stress into speaking power!
12. Reduce your nervousness by taking several deep breaths
immediately before youíre introduced. And for you
chocoholics, eat some chocolate to relax your vocal
13. If you experience dry mouth, chew your tongue to
increase saliva flow. Singers do this. Close your lips and
bite down on the entire surface. Always have a glass of
tepid(not cold) water nearby.
14. Focus on a friendly face in the audience. Pretend you
are having a conversation, rather than giving a speech.
Just be you.
15. Here is a vocal warm-up exercise used at the Royal
Academy of Dramatic Arts in London. Say, PaPaPaPa,
BaBaBaBa, TaTaTaTa, DaDaDaDa, KaKaKaKa, GaGaGaGa. Then do
it backwards. (Courtesy of Robert and Rande Gedaliah)
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