Pre-Presentation Rituals: Calming Techniques for Anxious Speakers
Many people suffer from public speaking anxiety. One of the best ways to combat this fear is with pre-presentation rituals. Rituals are normal rituals that most people practice before going into a situation that makes them anxious.
Here are some of my favorite pre-presentation rituals and calming exercises that can help you feel more confident and composed:
1. Deep Breathing
Take slow, deep breaths to calm the nervous system. Inhale deeply through the nose, hold for a few seconds, and then exhale slowly through the mouth. Repeat this process several times.
Close your eyes and visualize yourself giving a successful presentation. Imagine the audience engaged and responding positively to your content. This mental rehearsal can boost your confidence.
3. Stretching and Warm-Up
Do some light stretching exercises to release physical tension. Roll your shoulders, stretch your arms and legs, and perform neck rolls to ease stiffness.
4. Positive Affirmations
Repeat positive affirmations to boost your confidence. Phrases like “I am well-prepared and capable,” “I have valuable insights to share,” or “I am a confident and engaging speaker” can help build a positive mindset.
5. Vocal Warm-Up
Do some vocal exercises to warm up your voice. Humming, tongue twisters, or speaking aloud can help you feel more comfortable using your voice.
6. Power Poses
Adopt power poses for a few minutes to boost feelings of empowerment and reduce stress. Stand tall with your hands on your hips or raise your arms above your head in a victory pose.
7. Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Tense and relax different muscle groups in your body to release physical tension. Start from your toes and work your way up to your head.