What are the sensations of public speaking fear?
You may be all too familiar with them. Dry throat. Butterflies in the stomach. Sweaty palms. Shaking. Feeling lightheaded. Tunnel vision.
These physical sensations can stop us from giving our best performance, but we don’t need to be a slave to them. They can be overcome using a variety of methods.
Today I’m going to share a few of them with you.
A number of medical studies have shown a significant reduction in stress due to meditation. Meditation can be conducted in as short a time period as a few minutes. There are even apps such as Headspace to help you meditate. A few minutes of meditation just before a presentation will help to calm your nerves.
Muscle tensing exercises
Another effective way to relax yourself prior to a presentation is by conducting a series of muscle tensing exercises.
You can do these sitting or standing. Some people use tense-release audio recordings to do these exercises as a type of meditation.
The exercises involve clenching your muscles. You take a deep breath and clench your body (or part of your body such as your hands), hold the clench for a few seconds, and then release.
Repeat this a few times and it will help relax your body.
Gentle stretching exercises can also help. Remember, don’t go beyond your limits. You’re not trying to become a yogi! You’re just trying to release some tension!
One of the better stretching exercises is to reach for the sky. You begin with arms hanging loosely at your side. You then breath in as you raise your arms and reach for the sky. Hold the pose for a few seconds. Then breath out as you lower your arms. Repeat this exercise 5 or 6 times.
Doing a combination of these exercises before a presentation can help relax your body, settle your mind, and prepare you for your presentation.
Fear is in the mind, but all too often it can affect the body. Take a few minutes to prepare yourself before your next presentation and the stage will be yours.