As a coach who helps a range of people overcome their fears for presenting to audiences, from weddings to in the workplace, the biggest reason I come into contact with for not doing regular speaking, is that they are nervous. This is something we all get, even me, when we are speaking in front of an audience, particularly if it is an unknown audience.

I wanted to share in this blog, some tips to helping you manage your nerves prior to speaking at an event.

Breathe

This is the key thing that keeps you going, and so many people forget to breathe when they are filled with nerves prior to, and during, speaking at an event. Take a few breaths before you stand up to speak, to help calm your mind and prepare you.

For the clients I help, particularly when helping Dad’s for their Father of the Bride speeches, which are often incredibly emotional, I recommend they spend a little time prior to the speeches starting in their own space, breathing in for 4 counts, then out for 4 counts, 3-5 times.

Practice makes perfect

If you have the opportunity (which, let’s be honest, unless we are asked on the day out of the blue to speak in front of an audience, we all have time for), practice your talk out loud prior to the event. This is something I recently learned the importance of when I spoke at an event, where I had added a new section to my talk – in which I started “umming” and “ahhing” which is not my style of talking. It reinforced for me, the importance of practice! Even if you are only speaking for 1 minute, practicing your talk will help you to feel more confident when standing up and sharing your talk.

Listen to some great music!

If you are travelling to an event, and you are able to do so, listen to some of your favourite upbeat music. At the moment I have the “Greatest Showman” CD in my car, helping to get me in the zone for speaking. It’s an uplifting and energising soundtrack, which truly helps me to overcome any nerves I may be feeling prior to taking the stage.

If you are attending a wedding, or an event that you are unable to do this for, I then suggest you take some time for yourself prior to getting up and speaking – nip to the loos, wash your hands, and do a little dance. This may seem crazy, but even shaking out your hands and legs will help to chill out your mind of any negative thoughts you may be having!

These are just three ways to help change your mindset, so you can feel ready to stand up and speak for any amount of time. If you are struggling with confidence for speaking at an event, or have been asked to do a speech, such as a best man’s speech or Father of the Bride speech, I’d love to help. Get in touch with me, so we can arrange a free discussion to see if I can help you stand up with confidence.

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