You’re not alone if you experience the jitters when speaking in public. I can relate to the sweaty palms, shaking knees, tight and dry voice that can plague a public speaker. As a timid child, speaking up in class was akin to standing on a tiny platform about to perform a high dive. (I care not for heights and I’ve never learned to dive!)
I’m a different person today, not only has speaking been a part of my career for decades, I now work with entrepreneurs who want to market their services through speaking. Many of these successful entrepreneurs fear speaking as much as I did when I was young.
Here are a few techniques you might try to ease your anxiety:
1. When faced with a challenge (public speaking) that causes our body to retreat to flight mode our right brain starts firing rapidly. This means our logical left brain shuts down a bit and fails to provide the commonsense needed to get the job done. In order to create a balance between our left and right brain hemispheres I suggest my students perform brain train exercises before speaking. Here’s one you can try:
Place your arms out in front of you parallel to the ground with your hands clasped but index fingers forming a steeple. Think Charlie’s Angels. With your eyes focused on your pointed index fingers, slowly form a lazy eight figure with your arms. Allow your eyes to follow the movement as your arms move from side to side. After a bit, either dizziness will replace your fears or more likely you’ll find yourself feeling calmer. The movement allows you to engage your left brain and get the logic flowing again. Try it before any nerve-inducing situation.
2. Rehearse your talk. Okay, you knew that was coming but you’ll be amazed at how people fail to practice sufficiently. Seriously, you must put the time in to construct and speak your talk out loud. It might take Read more