Public Speaking nerves

Mark Twain once said “There are two kinds of speakers: those that are nervous and those that are liars”.

Public speaking is something that makes even the bravest of us nervous, even if it is just a little bit. If you’re someone who struggles with it more than just a little bit however (which I can assure you, plenty of people do) then you may be looking for some relaxation techniques or some hints and tips that you can utilise to aid you with speaking in public. Let me reassure you again, you are not in the minority here. Presentation nerves and speaking to small or big groups of people can cause severe anxiety in many people, including sleepless nights, loss of appetite and shaking and sweating, and can even have you reaching for the wine. A large amount of your nerves and anxiety will be anticipatory, and once you are giving your speech or doing your presentation you will relax into it and may even enjoy what you are doing.

So what can you do beforehand to kick those nerves into touch? If you take one piece of advice away from reading this blog, it is to be prepared. Do not go into a presentation not knowing what you’re going to say. Do your research and have prompt cards, although avoid reading continuously from a script as your audience will start to drift if you’re not engaging with them. Visual aids are always helpful, as these give people something to focus on and will also take all of those eyes away from you, allowing you to concentrate on what you’re saying rather than worrying about being stared at. Try to involve your audience as well, as this keeps people interested and participation takes the focus away from you slightly as well. If you’re doing a presentation at work, ask the audience to guess statistics, such as last year’s sales or wastage for example.

Before you do your presentation or speech, it is always a good idea to exercise. I don’t necessarily mean an hour in the gym, but go for a quick walk or jog as not only does this release serotonin, it also helps to get rid of excess adrenaline which you will have a lot of if you’re nervous. Trust me; this will relax both your body and your mind. It also helps to do some breathing exercises as shallow breathing will instantly send you into panic mode. Just before you’re about to speak, sit quietly and breathe in and out, slowly and steadily. Avoid excess caffeine beforehand as well, as this can make you feel jittery, but have a bottle of cold water next to you.

Leading up to your presentation or speech, start to place positive images in your head, and imagine yourself doing a fantastic speech and effectively engaging your audience. Block negative thoughts the minute they enter your head- they will do nothing but damage and are not in the slightest bit helpful to you. And always remember that people don’t generally notice your nerves as much as you might believe. You may be concerned that people will judge you, but your audience will want you to do well and most won’t notice your nerves at all.

Hypnotherapy or combining hypnotherapy, hypnosis and a Positive Thinking Styles course can help to change the way you react to certain situations or people so that you can gain more control and insight into yourself. Once you can understand yourself better then you can start to make positive changes to your life.

For more help with presentation skills, public speaking and relaxation techniques, or to book a free initial consultation please call Rob on 01202 245020 or 07920 885015.

Confidentiality is strictly observed at all times.