Regardless of your experience or level of self-esteem, it’s only natural to feel at least a little nervous when you stand in front of an audience and deliver a public speech. Left unchecked, the butterflies in your stomach can derail your entire presentation.
Thankfully, there are ways to master your nervousness so you can confidently deliver your speech and make a great impression.
Try these methods to banish stage fright and give an excellent performance:
1. Be prepared. The old saying, “practice makes perfect,” is especially true when it comes to public speaking. Take the time to rehearse your speech several times before the big event.
• In addition to practicing your speech out loud to yourself, ask co-workers, friends, and loved ones if you can practice delivering your speech while standing in front of them. Practicing before a live audience makes the actual speechless stressful.
• Consider recording your practice sessions. You’ll gain insight into areas of your speech and delivery that you can make more effective.
2. Focus on your posture, both on and off the stage. Maintaining good posture when you walk, stand, and sit helps to increase your oxygen levels and blood flow.
• Having the proper posture can boost your mood and makes it easier to project your voice across the room during your speech.
3. Reduce anxiety before your speech with regular exercise. Moderately strenuous exercise that elevates your heart rate can help you to relax and unwind in the days leading up to your speech.
• Many times, a case of nerves or stage fright is simply pent up energy, which can easily be released through regular exercise such as brisk walking or even dancing!
4. Make a connection with your audience. You can calm your nerves and make your audience more receptive to the content in your speech by building rapport.
• Walk into the room with your head held high and make eye contact with members of your audience.
• Put yourself and others at ease by telling a lighthearted joke or funny anecdote before you dive into the heart of your speech.
• Vary the rhythm and pitch of your voice as you deliver your speech to hold your audience’s interest.
5. Before you deliver your speech, visualize its success. Our subconscious minds are powerful tools.
• Trick your brain into helping you achieve the result you desire. Whatever your mind focuses on, your subconscious mind will try to achieve. If you visualize your speech going off without a hitch, your subconscious mind will work to make it a success!
6. Be yourself and have fun. Most of us can spot a phony a mile away, and audiences are no exception!
• When you deliver a speech, seek a way to present some part of you that is authentic. Being open, honest, and professional will help your audience to connect with you and trust your message.
• If you feel the anxiety starts to build as you deliver your speech, take a moment to take a deep breath and slowly exhale before you resume speaking to regain your control.
• Accept that you are human. Worrying about making a mistake when you’re giving a speech will only increase the likelihood of it happening. If you do make a mistake, simply correct it and move on.
Public speaking can cause even the bravest hearts to quiver, but these tricks can help you banish your stage fright and deliver a winning performance.