Getting anxious before a speech is completely normal. Even the best speakers in the world may become nervous. Many people complain about accelerated heartbeat, shortage of breath, dry mouth, and fear. These symptoms may occur hours or days before your presentation. Fortunately, there are many simple ways to calm down and get rid of public speaking fear. Learn to relax so that you can give an exceptional speech.
Most people speak faster when they are nervous. The way you feel can have a huge impact on how you speak in front of an audience. When you practice, speak more slowly than you would normally. That way, when you get anxious, you’ll be speaking at a normal pace.
Embrace the Energy
Researchers have found that stress improves focus and helps people think more clearly. The fact that you’re nervous isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Use that extra energy to give a powerful speech and engage the audience. Turn your nervousness into positive energy. Concentrate on your message and try to look enthusiastic.
When you’re nervous or agitated, your body produces adrenalin. This may cause a dry month. Drink plenty of water before giving a speech. Keep a bottle with you at all times.
Use Humor to Unfreeze the Audience
If the situation allows, start your speech with a bit of humor. This will help the audience relax and feel more comfortable, which will boost your confidence. Using funny stories and anecdotes is a great way to connect with your audience at a deeper level.
Practice Deep Breathing
When you breathe deeply, your brain gets the oxygen it needs. Put your hand on your stomach and breathe through the diaphragm. Anxiety tightens the muscles in your throat and chest. Deep breathing can instantly relax your body.
Get a Good Night’s Sleep
The night before your speech, don’t sit in bed reading your notes over and over again. This will increase your anxiety and make you feel nervous. If you can’t fall asleep, read a novel or watch a movie. Avoid alcohol or sleeping pills. Drink some warm milk and eat something light for dinner.
Remember that your speech doesn’t have to be perfect. As long as you connect with your audience and deliver your message, there’s nothing to worry about. Perfection takes years of practice. If you make a mistake, focus on what to say next. Address your audience in a clear, confident manner and make eye contact.