5 Tips to Tackling Public Speaking Nerves

It may come as a surprise to learn that most clients who come to see me to improve their vocal confidence are career focused men. Often the higher they climb up the career ladder the more stressed they get at the thought of speaking in public. If this sounds familiar, read on for some tips on how to shine in the spotlight.

1. Others often look more confident than they are

So many people say to me that they feel like they are the only ones who look nervous. Public speaking is said to be the third biggest fear in the UK and US, so you can almost guarantee others are fretting too. The upside of this is that although you might be worrying inside, on the outside you probably look just as calm as everybody else.

2. Focus on the Topic, Not on Yourself

Its your job to stand up and invite your audience to share in the information you have to offer. By focusing your mind on that and directing the listeners' attention towards your topic and away from you, you will feel far more at ease and less under scrutiny.

3. Breathe!

Breathing in a low, relaxed manner immediately helps us to feel calm. As breath is the power behind your voice it is really important to ensure you are breathing freely, it will quieten your mind and allow you to sound like you know what you are doing. A little trick, if your mind ever goes blank is simply to pause and breathe because you had probably stopped breathing for a moment. If you don’t breathe, you can’t think and if you don’t think, you can’t speak. So breathe and trust in yourself that the words will come out.

Image Credit: hypnotherapists.org
Photo Credit: Hypnotherapists

4. Stand Tall

A good posture makes us look more confident and feel it too. The great news is it also creates the perfect conditions for your voice to work at its optimum level. Ensure that your weight is evenly placed on both feet and that you are centred. Scan your body for unnecessary tensions, releasing any tight muscles as you do.

If this feels difficult, focus on the muscle in question, tense it as much as you possibly can and then release and release again, you will notice a difference. Pay special attention to your shoulders. You don’t want to look like a private on parade, you want to look like the strong, relaxed, charismatic guy you are!

5. Learn to Love the Adrenaline

There’s no point madly trying to not feel nervous, nerves are just one way of using the adrenaline that is coursing around your body. Instead embrace it and re-direct it into a focused powerful energy that will allow you to succeed!

And finally, make life easier for yourself. Become familiar with your subject, understand who your audience will be and set yourself up for success by practising out loud first. Run things through in your mind and have them go exactly the way you'd want them. Everything in life becomes so much more achievable once you know what you are aiming for. 

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