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10 Tips Right Before Your Speech or Presentation

Exercises right before you begin speaking

 

1. Continue to assure yourself and control your "inner voice" so that your thoughts are about how confident and poised you are. 

2. Repeat out loud, in a strong voice, "Who is the expert? I am the expert!" Say it again.

  • Say it 10 or 20 times.  Mean it! Believe it!  

3. Practice the breathing exercises. 

  • About half an hour before you speak, go to a place where you are alone, sit down, and do the exercise twice. You should feel your body relax.
  • If you are still not relaxed, practice again.

4. Welcome the jitters.

  • Say to yourself, "I want this extra energy rush because it is going to make me speak better.  I will use this energy when I speak.  I will have energy when I speak."

5. Breathe. 

  • Take 10 more deep breaths. 
  •  Write in big, red letters on each page of your notes: STOP. BREATHE. BEGIN.

6. Place your notes on the podium before your speech.  

  • Most podiums have a little shelf underneath.  This is a great place to stow your notes or papers. Put them there yourself before you talk.  
  • Tell someone they are there so they will not be moved. This way you do not have to be fumbling with papers when you are introduced.  They will be right there for you.

7. Avoid dry mouth and dry throat.

  • We often get dry mouth when we speak. When our mouth gets dry, it's almost impossible to speak. You need to have water available.
  • Additionally, it is important to keep your throat from getting dry. I have been in the Green Room many times with singers waiting to go on talk shows, and they are chewing gum or sucking on a candy or lozenge to prevent their throats from getting dry, and interfering with their performance.
  • You can do that, too - suck on a piece of candy or chew some gum right before you talk to help keep your throat moist.

8. Remove the candy or gum BEFORE you speak.

9. Always uncap your water before you start speaking so you do not have to fumble with it during your talk.

10. Take a sip of water before you begin.

Helpful Tips:

  • Do not eat or drink anything but tepid water (no ice) before you talk. 
  • Ask for water to be placed on the podium or near you when you speak so you can take a drink as needed, or bring your own bottle of water.
  • I bring my own tepid water in a bottle because it has heft, and if my hands are shaky, the water gives me stability and the audience can't see me shake. 

 

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