According to a survey, the biggest fear for people is not Death, but the fear of public speaking. Feeling the nerves before entering the stage, podium or approaching a stranger is common to all. It happens to even the most experienced and confident performers. The first 5 minutes are the most difficult minutes of the speech or presentation as it sets the tempo and context for the entire flow.
I remember that evening when I had to give a simple vote of thanks that was impromptu for a session. Just before the program was about to end and my name was to be taken to come to the floor. I felt the sudden loss of energy in my legs, my hands were shivering and I felt heaviness around my chest. It was not new to me, that happens even when I’m prepared. What’s important was to overcome this.
Here is finally one of the many ways that can help you, as it helps me everytime.
Firstly – Say it loud inside yourself that “I Love My Audience, they deserve the best of Me”. Affirm it at least 10 times with the length of the affirmation being equal to every incoming (first part – I love my audience) and outgoing breath (second part – they deserve the best of me). This will give the confidence in you to give best to your audience and moment you feel love for the audience, they suddenly become a familiar territory to speak to. If you have to deliver a talk in an informal setup then it’s the best to throw some introductions in the people one to one, so that when you stand for the talk you see familiar faces.
Secondly – Just before your name is to be announced and you have a minute left, try OCEAN BREATHING. Ocean breathing is a technique of relaxing yourself quickly. To do it effectively, try and keep your spine straight and then deeply inhale from nose and exhale from mouth with a “hah” sound. This exhalation can be so subtle and silent that it can be head only by you, with the mouth slightly open and exhalation being deep. Even 30 – 60 seconds can work wonders for you.
These two techniques have helped me and many to overcome the last minute nervousness in any situation. Try this and share your experience.
Go win the crowd.
Sending love, laughter and joy…… Parth sharma