Take a Few Deep Breaths to Reduce Your Public Speaking Jitters
The fifth public speaking tip in this series is to Take a Few Deep Breaths, because proper breathing can help you reduce public speaking fear. When a speaker gets nervous, his/her heart rate will increase dramatically. This alone is very natural and common. However, if the presenter also begins to breath more shallowly, which is very common, this combination of two symptoms can have challenging consequences. The racing heart causes the oxygen level in your bloodstream to be altered, so when you combine that with shallow breathing, you can actually make yourself light headed. When this happens, the nervousness will increase. This causes a negative-reinforcing cycle that can lead to panic (or even hyperventilation in extreme cases).
There is an easy solution, though. Just pause. Then, take a couple of deep breaths. When you do, you will both calm your heart rate and increase the oxygen saturation in your bloodstream.
Take a Tip from Actors or Athletes
Actors, before going on stage, will often get together and take a few deep breaths in a secluded area back stage. This is done to calm the nerves so that the group performs better. Athletes, before competing, will often focus a lot on their breathing. When I was in high school during power-lifting competitions, the main focus just before the lift was my breathing. Deep breathing calms your nerves, which allows you to think more clearly. So, to avoid the panic from public speaking, make sure and BREATH.
The video above is just a small part of the full 25 minute Fearless Presentations ® Orientation video with all 10 public speaking tips and much more. If you'd like to watch the full video from start to finish, click here!
The key thing to remember about this tip is, just before you go on stage, take a few deep breaths to calm your heart rate.
<= Go back to tip #4: Show Up for Your Presentation Early