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How to overcome nerves when public speaking or recording

Overcoming nerves for public speaking and podcast recording

You’re back! Super. If you missed Part 1, check it out here.

Try these hacks to overcome your nerves for public speaking and recording. 

Tip One: Breath in less

The narrative has often been to take a deep breath when you’re nervous,  but actually what you need to do is focus on the out breath. That will prep you nicely for a really easy in breath. Let the breath go, release the abs and allow the breath to drop back in on it’s own. Don’t think about taking in big breaths. Think about letting in the breaths. 

Tip Two: Lots of Lip Trills

This is a fun exercise where you blow through your lips like a disgruntled, yet expressive horse, allowing yourself to glide up and down your pitch range in the background. Lip trills are perfect for just before you go on stage or before you start recording your podcast or voiceover. They’ll help you regulate your airflow, release your lips for clearer speech and encourage full vocal fold closure, which will give you a strong, clear tone and minimise vocal fry.

Tip Three: Ground yourself

And I mean that in both a spiritual sense and the sense of physically feeling connected to the floor and present. Pop your feet hip width apart, feel the front and the back of the feet making contact with the floor. You want to make sure your weight is evenly distributed over the whole of the foot. Wiggling your toes is a fab way to lower your mental focus which helps bring your energy down and lowers your centre of gravity. Wiggling your toes gives you a wee something to feel in your body, which is an excellent technique for staying present when present-ing. LOL

Tip Four: Use the pause

If you’re giving a presentation in front of a live audience, use the pause to see the crowd. Terrifying, I know.  All your instincts will tell you not to look at people. But I promise, facing the crowd is a much stronger way of dealing with it. Try the technique of splitting the audience into three. Pick one friendly looking face in each third ( there’ll always be one) and look at them. Use your pause to breathe and slowly see the middle third, then the left third…then the right third and finally back into the middle. Then start your speech. 

Your audience will think you’re in control, even if inside you’re desperate to leave! It’s our responsibility to make the listener feel comfortable in our presence. Using a pause and an out breath is a really great way to do that.  

Okay so let’s briefly recap!

  • Breathe out first, not in. 
  • Lip trills are your best friend, they’re a catch all exercise for the voice, the breath, the articulators.
  • Feel the floor, find that stability and connection to the ground and you’ll counteract the ‘flight’ feeling. 
  • And use the pause, don’t be afraid of it. It’s terrifying, yes, completely terrifying but using the pause is really powerful, so give it a go….

*Long pause as I say…..goodbye.

For more tips, buy my book On The Mic here!

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