Feeling nervous before speaking in front of a group of people is something that even veterans find themselves susceptible to. Instead of letting your anxiousness impact your performance, here are 6 public speaking tips for nervousness to remember the next time you find yourself with the jitters:
Clench your derriere
Can’t stop shaking while you present? Research has found that it is impossible to be shaky when you clench your thigh muscles or buttocks. If you find yourself shaky and unable to control yourself, simply squeeze and continue on with your presentation.
Power Meditate before your presentation
Meditation is a great way to stay productive throughout the day, but did you know it’s also a great way to calm yourself down before giving a large presentation or pitch? A review published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that meditation helps manage anxiety. So the next time you find yourself getting anxious before speaking in front of a crowd, take yourself to the side for a “power meditation” session.
Treat the speech like a conversation
A huge source of nervousness is the self-inflicted pressure to deliver perfectly. Instead of making your oral content perfect, work on making it conversational. Professor Nicholas Epley at The Booth School says, “A person’s speech conveys their fundamental capacity to think—the capacity for reasoning, thoughtfulness and intellect.” Speak in your voice and not a “stage voice” and you’ll have a higher likelihood of being thought of as intelligent and thoughtful.
Pump yourself up!
It’s easier to get in the mindset of being confident when you’re listening to that one song that makes you feel like a rock star, right? A few minutes before you go to speak, listen to whatever your go-to pump up song is. Princeton Public speaking promotes listening to music to get in the zone. If you want, dance a little too. It will get rid of the nervous jitters and boost your confidence just before going on stage.
Give me twenty
Going along with pumping yourself, a bit of light exercise before your speech can help get rid of any pre-speech jitters. Whether you’re doing a few jumping jacks, a couple push-ups, Business Insider recommends a bit of exercise to get your blood flowing and ridding yourself of excess energy.
Fake the eye contact
If you’re speaking to a large group of people, then take the intimidation factor down a notch by faking eye contact. Experts recommend one friendly face in four different directions and to alternate speaking in the direction of those four faces. By alternating from one comforting face to another, you will be creating the illusion that you are speaking to everyone in the audience. And if direct eye contact is too daunting then look slightly above the eyes to the forehead, which will make it seem as if you are making eye contact.