So, the big day is here, and you are ready to give your speech, but your nerves are taking over, use the following tips to calm yourself and push fear away.
Number One – Use Your Rational Mind. Typically, fear is not rational. As you get more nervous and anxious, you begin to think less rationally. Stop and take a breath. Rationally consider the worst-case scenarios. Are you imagining passing out in front of your audience, losing your job because you messed up, or forgetting your entire speech? How likely are any of these to actually happen? When have you ever known these to occur at a talk you attended? The answer is probably never. Are you worrying for nothing?
Number Two – Focus On Your Audience. Focusing on the needs of others can help you calm your nerves and get ready to talk. Instead of worrying about yourself, focus instead on the people who came to hear from you. You are there for them. They are ready to listen and be educated by you, and what you have to say is essential.
Number Three – Be Genuine. Getting the audience on your side early on will help you feel more relaxed for the rest of your speech. When your audience sees that you are a real and genuine person, they are more likely to connect with you. Start with a story about yourself and how you became interested in this topic or provide a quick anecdote with some humor to ease your tension.
Number Four – Become Focused and Centered. As you get closer to your speech, you need to find ways of getting your mind off your nervousness and focused on the present. Each of us finds success doing this through different means. Consider what makes you relax and gets your mind off your anxiety. Exercise and meditation are helpful for inducing relaxation. Whichever method you choose, be sure you do it in the hours leading up to your speech so that your mind is where it needs to be, which is on right now, not on the unknown future.
Number Five – Visualize A Successful Speech. Visualizing success can help you defeat your nervousness and is a trick used by many successful people, including athletes, doctors, and dancers. Think about a few hours from now when your speech is over, everything went well, and the audience is clapping for you. How will you feel? What will it look, and sound like to stand in front of your audience and know you have done a good job?
Number Six – Deep Breathing. Breathing exercises really do work and taking just a few minutes to focus on your breath, to inhale and exhale deeply, and to be present in that moment of breathing can do wonders to calm your nerves and help you feel ready to begin.