Mark is a Clinical Hypnotherapist, NLP Practitioner and Director of Positive Blossom Limited. He runs a busy practice in Leicester, UK and is registered with the General Hypnotherapy Register (validated by the General Hypnotherapy Standards Council). He is continually driving his therapeutic techniques forward through innovation, research and dedication.
“Each of the self hypnosis hypnotherapy products on this website has been developed as a result of my many years of experience within clinical practice, where I have helped thousands of people empower themselves and gain positive changes within their lives.” Mark Spalek, June 2015.
1. Prepare Your Material
The more you prepare for your speech, presentation, talk etc. the less nervous you will be on the day. Approach this with the vigor and focus of an athlete: practice your delivery at least once a day a week before your talk so that you know the material inside out. Once you have practiced your delivery, forget about it and get on with the rest of your day.
2. Focus The Mind
Regular meditation of no more than 10 to 20 minutes per day can be very helpful in relaxing the mind and improving your focus. Find a quiet, safe place away from machinery, sit or lie comfortably and take a deep breath, focusing gently on a spot somewhere in front of you for several minutes. Any thoughts that arise, simply acknowledge them, thank them and then let them go. Focus on each breath, the in breath and the out breath and allow your breath to become deep and relaxed, so that your diaphragm rises as you breathe in, and falls as you breathe out. Your body will relax naturally at it’s own pace.
3. Get Rid Of Unwanted Stress
A useful way of getting rid of your stress before giving a talk, is to take a deep breath and clench your fist, picturing all the tension and stress being drawn into your hand as you make your way onto the podium. Gently relax your fist as you begin talking and picture all the tension and stress floating away from your hand. You can do this in front of your audience without them noticing and this is an effective way of getting rid of any last minute nerves.
4. Don’t Worry About Making Mistakes
One of the reasons that we stress about public speaking is the fear that we may somehow embarrass ourselves in front of the audience. It is important to realize that these thoughts are purely projections of anxiety about future events and that they have no solid grounding. Any negative thoughts that arise, simply acknowledge them, thank them and let them pass. The chances are you won’t fall off the podium or spit in the audience’s faces!
5. Express Yourself
It is often the case that we tone down our presentation because we feel the audience will not appreciate a style of delivery that is passionate and engaging. However this is purely an assumption on our part; it is far better to deliver your presentation or talk in a positive, interesting manner that shows that you care passionately about what you are speaking about. If you are open with the audience, then they will be open with you, becoming engrossed in what you have to say. There is nothing worse than delivering your words in a flat, emotionless monotone – this will only serve to bore your audience and make them unresponsive. It is not about getting through the presentation and then going home, it is about engagement and being open with your audience, so that the subject matter of your talk has maximum impact.
6. Warm Up Your Vocals
Before walking onto the stage, actors use a variety of vocal warm up exercises in order to free the voice and let its true tonal quality appear. One way that you can do this is by humming a low note with your mouth closed, and then slowly raising the pitch of the note to a higher level, allowing the note to linger for several seconds at this higher pitch before lowering the pitch once more. You can warm your voice up in the washroom a few minutes before your speech.
7. Get To Know The Room
It is useful to ‘breathe in’ the room before your speech. Simply walk around the room, your breathing calm and relaxed, noticing where the speaking area is and any equipment that you will need, for example, projector, projector screen, laptop, microphone. Breathing in the room alleviates any fears that you may have in performing there.
8. Visualize A Successful Presentation
Positive visualization is used by many successful athletes in the world and there is no reason for you not to incorporate this useful technique prior to any presentation or talk you may give. In the days leading up to your public speaking engagement spend some quiet time visualizing yourself giving an excellent speech. Visualize yourself being calm and composed, your jaw (the jaw is an area that stores a lot of tension) and shoulders loose and relaxed, standing tall and straight, your voice with the perfect tone and rate of delivery. Picture the look of awe on the audiences faces as you deliver your speech in a clear, confident manner. Visualizing yourself in this way gets rid of a lot of nerves that you may about your performance.
9. Get The Audience Participating
When you have finished your presentation don’t be afraid of asking the audience if they have any questions. This engages the audience and gives you more credibility as a speaker. Should anyone ask a question that you cannot answer, simply let it go and tell them something along the lines of ‘I’m not sure about the answer to that particular question but I can find out and get back to you…’ This validates your image as a caring, consummate professional in the eyes of others.
10. Don’t Be Hard On Yourself
If You Forget Your Lines This is very important within the context of a speech. If you forget some of the information that you wanted to get across, or make a mistake, do not be hard on yourself as this will increase your tension and make you more prone to further errors. Simply let the error pass or focus back on your notes to get back on track.
Feel nervous about presenting to a large audience but okay with small groups? Read this article: