One of the activities that will turn a grown man into a quivering mess is to ask them to speak in public. In our society today, speaking in public is one of the toughest things you can be asked to do. We are so afraid of being criticised by our peers that we allow our fears to overwhelm the rational mind. In this article we are going to look at five things that you can do to help you overcome those nerves.
I have recently been listening to a number of pay television documentary channels and it is quite amazing to here the number of celebrities that suffer from public speaking nerves. Many world class singers still suffer stage-fright to the point of throwing up prior to getting out on stage.
So what do I recommend to help you overcome those public speaking nerves:
Number 1: Deep Breathing Exercises
One of the easiest ways to over come nerves is to use the deep breathing techniques. Essentially prior to going onto the stage your mind maybe running at a million miles, so the first step is to get your mind to focus on your breathing.
To achieve this, take a deep breath and ensure that you fill your lungs. Next step is to slowly exhale the air. Do this same process as many times as you require till you start to feel calm. As you are doing the exercise ensure that you focus on your breathing. Feel the deep breath coming in and then concentrate on your exhaling. You should start to feel calm after you have done this a few times.
If you do this a few times or start to feel light headed then ensure you stop.
Number 2: Listen To Music
My wife is a fitness instructor and senior executive trainer and one of the ways that she helps overcome the nerves is to listen to music. Now for most people the best type of music to listen to is something that is soothing. However I have seen, especially in my wife's case where music with a really strong beat helps her get excited and ready to go on stage.
For me my favourite piece of music to listen to prior to a public speaking engagement or training course is Eye of the Tiger. This music always helps me to calm those nerves.
Number 3: Visualise Your Speech
Visualisation is a great tool to help you prepare and feel confident before going on stage for your public speech. Visualise positively how you want the public to react, what sort of entrance, will you enter to clapping or cheering, will your message be received well. Each of these simple visualisation steps will help you go in with confidence and overcome your nerves.
Number 4: Exercise Prior to Your Public Speech
Exercise is one of the best ways to overcome nerves. Exercising helps produce endorphins and gets your blood flowing. I try and exercise everyday prior to a public speech so that I am pumped and ready to perform.
Number 5: Imagine Everyone in Their Underwear
When all else fails and your nerves are really making you feel unwell, imagine every single person in their underwear. Every time I think about my audience being in their underwear, it just makes me smile. You can not help but get up on stage and simply smile.
That act of smiling will help release endorphins into your blood stream and give you confidence to do your public speach.
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Chris Le Roy is the Managing Director of One-on-One Professional Business Training and provides regular public speaking courses to help you develop your public speaking skills. His company also provides first aid courses to ensure you have the required skills for your career.
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