Breathe, Feel, and See
When in the throws of feeling anxious, good breathing, visualization, and grounding yourself in the moment do work. With a caveat, just as you need to practice your upcoming presentation, you need to practice these anxiety quelling techniques too.
Are you thinking that is a lot of practicing? It is, and worth it. To stand with confidence as a speaker is one of life’s greatest gifts.
Shallow breathing constricts our voice and contributes to anxiety. It is a confidence robber.
As the yogis tell us breathe deep from the belly. Take a breath low down in your belly and let it fill your lungs and then propel your voice. Your vocal power comes from deep breathing. Check that you are using full breath by placing a hand on your stomach and make your hand move (while practicing, not on stage – that would look weird).
If you notice that you’re breathing is shallow, stop and take a deep breath. It’s okay, your audience will think of this natural break as a conversational pause.
Confidence is created when we have optimum oxygen flow through our body and is reflected by a rocket fueled voice.
In the moment, stay grounded, and feel the fear. Sounds airy fairy, right? Wrong. When you know where you stand (literally) and you know why you stand there, this is the place of confidence.
While you are practicing and presenting feel your feet. Feel the surface that they are touching. Notice and observe where you are and who is in your presence.
If your thoughts race away, bring yourself back to where you presently stand. Own your confidence – don ‘t let it gallop away.
Visualizing works – elite athletes are coached to use visualization techniques with scientifically proven success.
Watch yourself walk onto the stage with a bounce to your step, smiling at your audience. Then observe yourself speaking with a powerful voice and notice the audience enchanted by your words. Listen to the audience applause and the nods appreciating a job well done. Watch yourself taking the accolades in and them visualize yourself leaving the stage energized and smiling at your audience – perhaps even a little tip of the hat too. Now you have returned to your seat and you tell yourself, “I rocked it!”
If you feel your confidence drifting when you are on the stage bring yourself back to your visualization. Don’t let the confidence thief rob you.
To be confident you have to believe you can deliver the goods. Full and energized breathing, feeling the space you are holding, and seeing yourself accomplish your feats will take you down the road with a confident delivery.