Public speaking is difficult for people who suffer from nerves. Their fear builds, until the idea of stepping onto a stage and delivering a speech fills them with fright. Their heart races and they tremble and sweat. They then become so afraid they forget their lines.

Public speaking nerves are uncomfortable and unpleasant to have to deal with, but they can be overcome.

JAMES CHENIER

Once a speech is delivered successfully in public, repeating the performance the next time around is easier and self-esteem grows.

Preparation

Preparing to speak in public can bring confidence. In order to achieve this goal, required information has to be found and studied, notes made and a speech itself practiced.

Saying a speech aloud while practicing is better than thinking the words involved. Doing so helps the continuity and flow to be properly established. Practicing aloud can also help speakers learn what they want to say.

Sleep

Inadequate sleep, which stems from staying awake worrying the night before a speech, can make nerves worse. Taking steps to feel calm and letting concerns drift away so that good sleep can be obtained is beneficial.

Relaxation before bedtime can be obtained if speakers have a warm bath followed by a hot milky drink. As the body cools down after bathing sleep is likely to follow.

Refraining from reading speech notes or studying just before attempting to sleep will help, as will not watching an exciting movie or playing computer games before switching off the light prior to sleeping.

Relaxation

There are various relaxation methods that can help calm speakers nerves. Positive visualization may involve imagining a speech going ahead triumphantly, while meditation could involve focusing on a single pattern, color or thought until freedom from niggling doubt and worries subside.

Deep breathing

Deep breathing exercises are great for public speakers suffering from nerves, as they can be used right up until the last moment before a performance takes place, and so have maximum effect at the right time. Deep breathing entails breathing down into the belly region in a slow and rhythmic manner.

Familiarity

It can be beneficial for speakers to visit the place where they are to make a speech before the event. Familiarity with the layout, and knowing where they will stand and where they will enter and exit the scene, can help calm nerves and reduce panic.

Likewise, if speakers are to be introduced by someone on stage before they talk, meeting them in person and discussing procedures is a good idea.

Public speaking nerves can be dramatically reduced if speakers plan and prepare well. Calmness and confidence can be achieved, if they also practice relaxation methods and use deep breathing before going on stage.

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