You find yourself standing in front of a group of people who are simply waiting to hear what it is that you have to say. It makes no difference if this is a high school speech class or you find yourself staring out at hundreds of people from your business. As you begin to move towards the podium you realize that you are shaking like a leaf in a storm.
Most people who have ever given a public speaking assignment will recognize this situation. For some it occurred the first few times in their high school speech class. For others it seems to be the norm anytime they are asked to speak to any size group. People get nervous when they become scared. It is this nervous energy that causes one to shake physically and can even bring about a completely different voice that will be heard by those in attendance.
There is one main reason for this physical activity and there are several steps to be taken to bring it all under control. The main reason for the nerves in the first place is the level of comfort that one has pertaining to the subject matter that will be talked about. Here the better you know the material the less nervous you will be. It is always best that you write your own speech. This way you will be using words that you are comfortable with in a manner that is very much you. You should have practiced your speech so many times that you not only know it but have even come to have committed most of it to memory. Having accomplished this will settle you nerves, for the most part.
Before you take the stage make sure that you have some water to sip on before, during, and after your speech. Now this may be difficult if you are only giving a three-minute speech in high school but if you are expected to speak for longer than ten or fifteen minutes this is very important. The simple fact that knowing the water is there, waiting for you if you need it, will be one of the most important issues you will face. Also, the knowledge that you have taken care of this need will be comforting as well.
OK, you know your speech, you have made sure that water is available, and yet you still feel that annoying shaking. Slow down and take one very deep breath. After you have let this escape your lungs what for a count of three seconds and repeat the process. Do this as many times as you need to slow the shakes and even put them completely away.
If you find yourself becoming nervous again as you stand at the podium do not look into the faces of any one in the audience. Raise your eyes so that you are looking just over the tops of your audiences heads. No one sitting out there will be able to tell exactly where you are looking so do not let this worry you. Make sure to scan those in attendance, or at least the tops of their heads, so they will think that you have established eye contact with them.
As you are delivering your speech the greatest fear that most in the role of public speaking is making a mistake. It is this fear that is paramount in bringing about the nerves that will cause the shakes in the first place. However, this is truly of no circumstance that you should ever be concerned with. Remember, you wrote your speech, you spent the required hours practicing your speech, no one in your audience has ever heard your speech before. Because of this fact the only person who will ever know that you made a mistake is you. If this does happen forgive yourself and move on.
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