What to do in those ten minutes just before it’s your turn to give a presentation

We’ve all been there, the nervousness building up just before you know it’s your turn to go up and speak. The sweaty hands, the thumping, loud heartbeat, the dry mouth…

Instead of submitting to the full-on panic that could consume you and potentially sabotage your speech…here are four alternative ways to spend those precious ten minutes.

1.) Go somewhere else: If you can, leave the room. Get out of the supercharged environment that you are in and find a space where you can be alone. A hallway, a bathroom stall, anywhere! but trapped in your seat, waiting anxiously. If leaving the room is not an option, at the very least, get up and stand against a wall in the room that you are in.

2.) Breathe: Once you have arrived in your new space, breathe! Close your eyes, stand up straight with your feet shoulder width apart and inhale air from your nose. Imagine that the air is water that pours down the neck of a balloon, filling the balloon so that it gently bulges. Exhale when your lungs feel like they have enough air. Repeat so that you are doing this for at least 2 minutes. Once your time is up, you will feel more relaxed and centred.

3.) Chant a mantra: Choose a word or a string of words that make you feel empowered: “I can do this” or “I love this subject” or “I can’t wait to share this great idea with these people”…what ever words speak to you most strongly. Say the words out loud, then whisper them, then say them internally.

4.) Shake it out: Shake out your hands, shake out your feet, then do a whole body-shake-out. This will energize you and make you feel invincible!

Once about 7 minutes are up, go back into the room where you will be speaking. As you are walking there, continue to breathe and chant your mantra. Then… It’s showtime!

(This accompanying video is brought to you by www.thepublicspeakingschool.com – Enjoy!)

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