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5 ways you can hide your nerves when giving a speech

Pace yourself

Get into a relaxed rhythm

  • Notice your pace next time you walk–what feels comfortable?
  • Let your speaking connect with your walking, and notice how your sentence structure changes. 
  • Pay attention to when you pause and what patterns naturally emerge when you let your movement drive your sentence structure.

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5 ways you can hide your nerves when giving a speech

5 ways you can hide your nerves when giving a speech

https://www.fastcompany.com/90269420/5-ways-you-can-hide-your-nerves-when-giving-a-speech

fastcompany.com

5

Key Ideas

Breathe

Whether you gasp or sigh, your listeners will notice the breath you take before you speak.

Focus on the exhale. Think about controlling your breath like taking a sip of air–the less air you have to hold, the less sound you’ll make when you breathe.

Pace yourself

Get into a relaxed rhythm

  • Notice your pace next time you walk–what feels comfortable?
  • Let your speaking connect with your walking, and notice how your sentence structure changes. 
  • Pay attention to when you pause and what patterns naturally emerge when you let your movement drive your sentence structure.

Move from your center

To control nervous gestures, you have to add more by moving from your core–not just your arms.

Allow your full energy to flow through your entire body - it will make you appear calm and collected on the outside, regardless of what you’re feeling on the inside.

Stretch your vowels

When speakers get nervous, they often compress their sound. And mumbling sounds make it difficult for the audience to understand what you’re saying.

The key is to focus on stretching out your vowels, slurring your sounds together. By focusing on stretching out your vowels, you’ll sound sharp and clear. 

Stand solid

  • Put one foot slightly ahead of the other shoulder-width apart. 
  • Take a knee bend. As you come up, feel the connection with the floor and stand solid. 
  • You can move from time to time–but make sure you remain solid. This allows you to project outer strength, no matter how weak-kneed you feel on the inside.

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Remind yourself how awesome you are with affirmations. Write down affirmations that remind you of your capabilities and strengths and keep them somewhere you can find them if nerves strike.

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Get clear about your feelings

Take a moment to really analyze what you’re feeling and strategize for that.

Can you reframe negative feelings, like fear, into something more positive, like anticipation? If not, remind yourself that it’s perfectly normal to be nervous before a high-stakes situation. 

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Instead of being swept in the spiral of negative thoughts like 'What if I fail? What will they think of me? try to be aware of your physical sensations: how your heart beats, how the air fills your lungs, the heat and sweat you feel.

This will anchor you in the present moment and calm your nerves.

Tips For Calming Your Nerves
  • Make sure you get a good night’s sleep, that you're hydrated and that you had a good meal before. 
  • Be careful with your caffeine intake before a big presentation so that your heart rate isn’t already elevated.
  • Strike a power pose. Research shows it can shift your mood and make you feel more confident. 
  • Own the space. If you can, get to the room early and really imagine owning it.

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