How to calm your nerves before public speaking
It's normal to feel nervous before public speaking. After all, you want to do a good job and be well-received by your audience.
We see this all the time on our Train the Trainer suite of courses and qualifications.
The good news is that there are some things you can do to calm your nerves so that you can deliver public speaking with confidence.
1. Breathe deeply. Taking deep breaths will help you relax your body and focus your mind.
Breathe in through your nose for a count of four, then out through your mouth for a count of four.
Repeat this several times until you feel calmer.
2. Visualise yourself as being successful. Picture yourself delivering flawlessly and receiving applause at the end. Imagine how good it will feel to know that you did a great job. Really feel that feeling.
3. Use positive self-talk. Repeating positive affirmations to yourself such as "I am a confident speaker" or "I am an effective trainer", can help increase your confidence levels. If you have been on a Train the Trainer or presentations skills course, then ask, "How would (your trainer) have delivered this session?"
4. Focus on why you're doing this. Remember why you agreed to give this talk in the first place. Whether it's to educate, entertain, or motivate your audience, keep that goal in mind, and it will help you push through any nerves you're feeling.
5. Practise, practise, practise. The more prepared you are, the less nervous you'll be when the time comes. Make sure you know your material inside and out so that you can focus on delivering it well rather than worrying about forgetting what you're supposed to say.
Delivering public speaking can be nerve-wracking, but it doesn't have to be if you take the time to prepare mentally and emotionally beforehand. Follow the tips above, and you'll be well on your way to giving a great talk that leaves your audience wanting more!