Speaking tips for reducing anxiety are the trick to giving a great speech! Many speakers will tell you that they channel their nervous energy using some or all of the suggestions below. New speakers wonder if it will ever possible for them to one day have less fear around talking to a group of people, and I’m living proof that it is!
Thanks to VancoreToastmasters.com located in downtown Vancouver, I was able to learn how to become a more confident speaker. I actually enjoy sharing information with an audience and I used to dread it, although I do still get nervous. Now I simply have better tools to reduce the fear and use that energy in a more positive way to give my audience a great experience.
Here are a few ways to reduce anxiety when presenting or giving a talk:
- Greet your anxiety as it is completely normal and a natural response for most people, instead of trying to fight it. Acknowledging the fear will stop it from spiraling out of control.
- Prior to going on stage or giving a presentation, do some sort of physical activity to break up the adrenaline coursing through your veins. Try doing 20 push-ups or take a walk around the block. Don’t do too much and work up a sweat.
- Take 15 deep diaphragm breaths. We tend to hold our breath when we are fearful resulting in less oxygen to the brain, which makes anxiety worse.
- Reframe how you see the situation. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to do it 100% right. When you present, there is no one right way. Instead look at it as a conversation instead of a performance.
- Be adequately prepared for planned talks which will reduce your anxiety as you’ll be organized and know what you are going to talk about.
- Remember it’s about the audience, not you. The reason we freak out is that our brain is occupied by thoughts of “What if they don’t like me?” You are thinking about yourself. Instead work hard at focusing on your audience and the information you are sharing that will help them in some way.
- Ask lots of questions as they are a two-way communication. The more you engage with the audience, the more connected you will feel.
- Use everyday language vs. distancing language like… Distancing: ”One must consider how speaking affects their career.” Everyday: You may want to consider how speaking can help you in your career.”
These are a few suggestions by top speakers in their fields that I have also found very helpful, and I hope you do too. Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know how they worked for you.
By Loa Fridfinnson