Firstly, experiencing speaking anxiety is natural and many people feel nervous or anxious when they need to give a speech or presentation.
Those people that you are comparing yourself to and who look like they’re confident and relaxed when public speaking have intentionally learned how to manage speaking anxiety and will be using tools and techniques to help them feel calm and confident.
Use these 4 tools below to manage speaking anxiety and to feel calm and grounded when you give your next speech or if you have to present at work.
I want you to remember how courageous you are and I invite you to ‘feel the fear and do it anyway’ Susan Jeffers
Be your courageous self and face this fear. Acknowledge the emotions that rise, take a deep breath in and allow yourself to take ownership of the fact that this is happening and that this presentation is happening.
Facing your fear outright and early on will give you time to prepare.
If it’s one things I have learnt and continually remind my clients of is that ‘Avoidance creates anxiety’ - so when you continually put off preparing for your work presentation and pretend it is not happening, that isn’t doing you any favours.
Face your fear.
Practise what you are presenting.
2. Ground yourself.
Speaking anxiety can be managed by intentionally grounding yourself. Getting out of your head (where anxiety lives) and getting back into your body and into the present moment.
Whilst presenting and public speaking you can also be aware of the deep breathes you're taking, you can talk whilst at the same time follow the rising and falling sensation of your breath in your body.
If you are sitting down, while you are presenting, then you can ground yourself throughout by paying attention to the feeling of your body connecting with the chair. Pay attention to what your back feels like against the back of the chair and focus on this sensation.
Remember to sit up right, shoulders back and hold your head high.
If you are standing up and presenting, then you can ground yourself by focusing on what your feet feel like on the floor below. You can pay attention to the balls of your feet and your toes connecting with the floor below.
Take a wide stance and ensure your feet are shoulder width apart, keep your back straight and keep your head held high.
Over the past 8 years, whilst working with clients and within corporate companies, I have found honesty is such a powerful yet underutilised tool.
When you are honest with those around you about how you are feeling; this can instantly reduce the anxiety you feel.
If you are public speaking or have a presentation to do in front of work colleagues or your customers and you notice you’re feeling anxious then ensure you use this honesty tool.
At the beginning say something along the lines of ‘I am both equally excited and nervous to be presenting this to you today’.
Owning how you feel and sharing that will reduce anxiety and help you feel calmer about public speaking.
4. Slow down.
When you’re anxious everything seems to spin and speed up, doesn't it?
Therefore, remembering to intentionally slow everything down will enable you to manage public speaking anxiety.
Slowing down your speech and ensuring you pause will create moments of calm and allow you to get through what you are presenting.
And, before moving on with your presentation slides, ensure you take a deep breath. Again, this will slow you down and you will appear calmer and more confident.
5. Be Proud!
A bonus tip for you!
Ensure you give yourself permission to be proud of yourself for facing your fear and doing it anyway.
We can be so quick to move on to the next things, therefore, a reminder to you, that once the presentation is over make sure you are intentional about celebrating!
Focus on the fact that you did it, rather than how it went.
You did it so be proud of yourself.
If you used these tips and they were helpful then send me a message so I can celebrate with you.