Let’s face it, Public Speaking is hard. For most it is an experience of dreaded more that snakes, spiders and even death itself. These beliefs tend to influence our physiology (define) and our ability to deliver as a speaker. The “speakers nerves,” speakers anxiety, or the fear of public speaking lead to many weaknesses in our ability to deliver our message. One key area this psychological state and belief system effects is our voice. When we get nervous we tend to breath in short bursts, short shallow breath, quickly in and out. This hampers our ability to deliver our speech or communication with the power of vocal variety. For this issue I have 2 simple techniques to improve
One of the critical things that happens when we are nervous is that we start to breath short quick breaths. This can quickly destroy our ability to deliver our speech with any vocal power we have. I suggest breathing in for 2 seconds and breathing out for 4 seconds through our mouth. This rule, at the very least to slow down your breath and allow you to again to deliver with vocal variety. Think of this deep breathing as powering up your voice to deliver effectively. If counting is too distracting, simply focus on slowing down your breath and breathing through the mouth. Which ever way works best for you practice it when you work on your speeches and it will become second nature during your official speech delivery.
Use Visual Imagery
Visualization is a powerful tool to overcome the trepidation we may face when we walk up to the podium/lectern. We can actually visualize ourselves in the state of mind we want to be in and thus – we can change our current psychological & physiological state. This can be a physical place such as a place of peace (where we might meditate or relax) or even just surrounded by those who care about us. These are but 2 of the supernumerary examples of the power of this practice. Visualization is a scientific proven way of overcoming the fear of public speaking. It is a mainstay in the world of professional sports where it is used to help athletes achieve peak performance by aligning the internal world (our mind) to our positive goals & desired outcomes. Using it along side deep breathing helps you remain calm, free of fear and focus on delivering your speech.
Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking
Truth be told, we shouldn’t a fear public speaking. It is often our bad habits that keep us held to these negative beliefs. Critical to changing our behavior is changing our habits. So remember, breath deeply and visualize – you’ll notice the difference. You’ll feel confident, centered and deliver effectively. Give it a try!