You’re standing up to speak to an audience. You know your subject, and the audience looks friendly, but you are filled with doubt and anxiety. So what do you do?
Professional speaking coach Aly Harrold recently addressed Wealden Business Group, and here are some of her tips for confident public speaking….
- Slow down
Don’t gabble and try to get all your information crammed into as short a time as possible. Learn to relax, and stay in the moment. Less is more.
- Don’t worry about silence
As the song goes: “Silence is Golden”. Or, at least, it gives you time to gather your thoughts and retrieve the information you want to impart.
Breath slow and deep. Focus on your breath and on slowing it down before you speak. Slow, deep breathing has the effect of calming anxious thoughts.
Try alternate nostril breathing – also known as Yoga Nidra – which balances the left and right hemispheres of the brain, helping you to think clearly, slowing down erratic thinking, and relieving feelings of panic.
- Curing a dry mouth
To increase saliva, bite gently on the back of your tongue each side, which helps to produce saliva and lubricates a dry mouth.
A second technique is to run the tongue around the front of the teeth several times, and then reverse the direction (as if you are cleaning the front of your teeth with your tongue). This also helps to produce saliva.
- · Change the way you think
When you find yourself dreading an opportunity to speak, turn those thoughts around by saying “Wow! What a great opportunity, this is exciting!”
Also think of the audience as friendly. They want to hear what you have to share and, believe it or not, they really do want to see you do well.
- What we think we become!
Affirm and visualise – it’s very powerful. Say this to yourself, and say it often….
- I love to speak in front of an audience!
- I easily remember all I want to say.
- I relax and enjoy myself.
Visualise yourself standing in front of the audience smiling, feeling relaxed, and with the audience responding warmly.
- About Aly Harrold
Aly became a public speaking coach after a long career as a professional singer, and has held the title of Kent Speaker of the Year and South-East Speaker of the Year several times since 2011.
She is the current holder of Kent Speaker of The Year Award 2017 from the ASC (Association of Speakers Clubs), and runs workshops and programmes to enable the nervous and anxious person to stand up and deliver with confidence and clarity.
Contact details: Tel 07909 765348; email [email protected]; website www.alyharrold.co.uk