Fear of public speaking and presenting is a phobia felt by so many. A crippling anxiety surrounds the idea that the performer will freeze, and the performance will crash.
What has long been practiced and polished in the weeks leading up to the event, suddenly falls apart in seconds leaving the presenter a nervous mess on stage! This nightmare is not uncommon, but the truth is, it rarely becomes a reality.
Training our minds to become quiet and our bodies to become centered in the breath, is the cornerstone for overcoming these limiting beliefs.
Here’s how we overcome and conquer this thing called ‘Nerves’.
WHAT ARE NERVES?
Adrenaline – Nerves are adrenaline. That’s it! A powerful euphoric substance that the body cleverly makes for us. When adrenaline spikes, we must use this chemistry to work in our favour and to our advantage. Simply start to see it as the vital, wonderful life force that it is. When we align ourselves to this idea, we can use adrenaline to become passionate, engaging story tellers, bringing meaning to our words and life to our speech.
If you get this right, then you’re off to a good start. Without a solid awareness of how you breathe then you will surely be flooded by adrenaline and back in the trap of feeling ‘nervous’. Breath is the single most powerful way to overcome any momentary glitch.
Deep belly breathing is what counts and it is a technique we must master well in advance of any speaking event. Fill your tummy first with air, let it rise up like a balloon. Then let the ribs glide outwards, filling the chest. This is called diaphragmatic breathing and it goes deep into the body. In doing this you can steady your exhale and let the words resonate with power and projection. FROM THE GROUND UP. When we feel ‘nervous’, we often feel unsteady and not in our bodies. A feeling that can leave us lightheaded and ungrounded. By simply bringing awareness to our posture and grounding down into the feet we can alleviate nerves. Getting back into the body, frees us from over thinking and analyzing. Feel all four corners of your foot in your shoe, work up the legs, torso and neck and try to straighten up. Find length in your back and engage your core – this is an exercise in realigning the spine! Think about connecting roots into the earth, whilst being pulled gently towards the sky. SHIFT FOCUS. Remember this is not about you, this is for your audience. When we begin speaking, start from a place of service and ask the question, how can I best serve them? When we shift our focus onto the listener and become curious as to who they are and what they want, then we no longer have time to worry and overthink. If my focus is outwards and directed towards another, then I can’t be caught up in the chaos of self-doubt. POSITIVE VISUALISATION. Envisage the event in question and start to see your moment taking shape. Picture yourself in a radiant light, looking and feeling your absolute best. Visualize the listener captivated by your words. Direct your pace, pitch and pauses with mindfulness. Take control over the delivery, giving it weight and meaning. This is such a powerful tool for preparation allowing you to believe in yourself and reach the goals you set for an outstanding and unforgettable performance. CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org