Nervous when you’re scheduled to speak? Try these tips

public-speaking-in-actionPublic speaking can be nerve-wracking, even for people who do it all the time. Here are three tips from Fast Company to help you combat the jitters when you stand before a group:

  1. Exercise in the morning. Take a half hour to run, play basketball, lift weights or do something else physical. It’s much better than stewing about your presentation, and it sets your body up to deal better with stress.
  2. Memorize your first three lines. Usually, the hardest part of speaking is getting started. You’ll have more confidence if you’ve really prepared yourself with a solid, memorized opening – something more engaging than “I’m delighted to be here.” If you memorize your lines, you can take time to make eye contact with members of your audience, and you’ll look much more in command of your time and your space.
  3. Create a dialogue, not a monologue. Build in spots to ask your audience questions and give them a chance to engage with you. This also will give you a chance to take a breath, drink some water, and regroup.

Do you have other tips? Let me know.

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3 Responses to Nervous when you’re scheduled to speak? Try these tips

  1. Ray Colon says:

    Hi Pete,

    As often as I’ve done it, I still get the jitters in front of any size group. Like you mentioned in the tips, the nervousness does pass once you get started, especially if it’s a good start.

    I had an unintended laugh when I got to the last line of your post. It’s impossible for me to think of sipping water while taking a breather from speaking without picturing Marco Rubio’s famous sip. 🙂

  2. Some great advice here Peter – thank you. In addition to memorizing the first 3 lines I try and throw in a fact or two to start with. I find this helps to start building trust and rapport with the audience to start creating a monologue not a dialogue (point 3).

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