No Danger! 4 last-minute tips to deal with stage fright
As Mark Twain so nicely put it:"There are two types of speakers: those that
are nervous and those that are liars." Everybody is nervous about public speaking.
Especially the minute before we step in front of our audience. Our
body shows extreme signs of fear,
which makes the whole experience of public
speaking so daunting. So what I am going to give
you today are ways to respond to your body's signs of nervousness with
ways to soothe it and thereby calm it down. This way you can
proactively deal with your stage
I hope these tips were useful. If you would like to get more tips
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- Move around. If you
stay glued to one spot, you will hear your heart pounding up to
your ears. Think of Steve Jobs or speakers
at TED Talks,
there's a lot of walking around. You don't have to be a Steve
Jobs, though. You can do that, too. If for whatever reason you
have to stand or sit in one place. Move your hands and arms,
move your head, turn your torso towards different people in the
Don't exaggerate this of course (!), and maybe practice it
already when you are rehearsing your presentation.
but feel like you have the freedom to move. This
will signal your body: No danger! It's safe to move.
- Breathe. This is so important for speaking.
All the sound that is coming out of your mouth is actually air,
technique will do wonders for you. Learn the
into your lower abdomen and manage your air flow from your diaphragm. You
can use it before your next presentation
to calm yourself down. Then use it during your presentation
to make pauses in your speech.
It helps you support your voice
AND helps you to calm down. This
will signal your body: No danger! I can breathe.
- Take the focus away from
yourself. When we are nervous we see and feel each
sign of nervousness
through a magnifying glass. We feel like everybody can hear our
heart pounding and see our hands shaking. Remember this: THEY
CAN'T. They don't know you as well as you know yourself. They
can't feel what you feel. They have their own stuff going on. So
keep the monologue you have prepared as short as possible and
include questions, that take the spotlight away from you. This
will help your body to relax because you will signal to it: No danger! It's NOT about me.
- Accept that you are human and
not perfect. We are so used to seeing perfect people,
giving perfect speeches
in front of mesmerized audiences giving standing ovations. That
is not the reality. All of these speeches are written by professionals,
rehearsed hours and hours and directed and cut by professionals.
If you have a full time job and giving presentations
is just ONE aspect of it, when should you find the time to practice for
hours and hours? Where is the professional
who is writing your speech
perfectly, so you can bask in the glory of your audience's
applause? Nowhere. So why should you or anyone else expect that
you will do it the same way? Relax!
Do the best with what you have time for, give it your best shot
and allow yourself to get better with every presentation
that you are giving. This will
signal your body: No danger! I can relax.