Take a Deep Breath: How to Calm Your Nerves Before a Speech

How to Calm Your Nerves Before a Speech Speech Anxiety

If you have a fear of public speaking, you are not alone. According to research, 41% of people fear public speaking more than death! The fear of public speaking is the most common phobia, however, knowing how to calm your nerves will actually help you overcome this fear.

Even the most experienced speakers admit that they still get butterflies in their stomach before stepping on stage, they just learned how to calm down and work through it so that they can deliver their speech.

So the problem is, how do you calm your nerves so that you can get on stage and rock that speech without having a panic attack?

If you want to share your wisdom with others, and the only thing keeping you back is your fear of public speaking, have no fear! Keep on reading to learn proven methods for overcoming your fears and rocking that stage!

Shake the Perfection

Perfection is a major contributing factor in the fear of public speaking, most novice speakers fear that the speech should be flawless. The truth is, even the best speakers make mistakes all the time during their speeches, but they know how to roll with it and continue on.

A trick for this is to just carry on and not give any attention or energy to your mistake, the audience will only know you made a mistake if you make it obvious. Plus, we are all human and we all make mistakes. Keep the authenticity and you will be fine.

Being confident about your speech will help you to shake the feelings of imperfection, check out these very useful tips to help you create the perfect speech.

Visualize the Speech Beforehand

Visualizing an experience before it actually happens is a huge key to success, no matter what you are preparing for. This has been done by professional athletes, business owners, and of course, public speakers.

Visualization activates your Reticular Activation System (RAS), which is like your inner GPS which will help guide you through the entire experience once you get on that stage.

Sit in a quiet room with your eyes closed, then imagine the room, the audience, the sounds of the room, the MC introducing you on stage, and then walk yourself through the entire experience, including the standing ovation you will receive at the end!

Switch Your Nerves into Excitement

Most of the time when we are nervous, our bodies feel a surge of energy that was manifested by an emotion created in the mind. One thing professional speakers do before they get on stage is jumping up and down to switch those nerves into excitement and enthusiasm.

Your body just feels that rush of energy, and it is told that energy is nerves by your fear and your mind. You can simply trick your body into feeling excitement instead by putting on some high energy music, jumping around and giving a few loud cheers with your backstage friends.

Meet Your Audience Beforehand

The best thing to do before you speak in front of a crowd of strangers is to make friends and connections with them beforehand. Go out into the meet and greet areas well before your speech, shake some hands and introduce yourself.

Get to know people as much as you can, ask them questions and see why they came to the event you are at!

This an excellent way how to calm your nerves, you can also take some of their questions and incorporate them into your speech, helping you to really connect to your audience. 

Think Positively

The last thing you need to do is hit that stage with negative thoughts about the outcome of your speech. If you prepare yourself with “I am going to screw this up”, you will probably screw it up!

Instead, every time your mind starts to make up a negative scenario, replace that negative thought and think positively about your speech. Envision yourself getting lots of laughs, tears (if that is your goal), clapping, and positive reviews.

Slow Down

In the time leading up to the speech, you are going to be full of nervous energy. Take this time to really chill out, focus on your breathing, meditate, and talk calmly with a friend or your speaking coach.

Then just before you go up you can follow our advice above and get pumped up before you head on stage.

Accept the Nerves

Resisting any energy or emotion such as fear or nervousness will not actually make it disappear. According to the great psychologist Carl Jung, “what you resist not only persists but will grow in size”.

Sit with the nervous feeling and accept it fully. feel its presence in your body, identify where you feel it, and what the sensation feels like. It may feel counterintuitive at first, but it is an excellent way to let go of the nerves.

Stand Tall and Proud

When you go up on that stage, remember that body language means everything, not only to the audience but your own subconscious as well. If you go up on stage in a submissive posture with your shoulders forward, you do not give off the feeling of power, this will lead people to not take you seriously.

March up on that stage like you mean business with a confident stance. This is illustrated by a wide stance, chest up, like you are superman/woman. Talk slowly with conviction, you are a professional in your niche, so believe in yourself!

Learn More About How to Calm Your Nerves Before a Speech

Congratulations on making the decision to step on the stage and share your wisdom with the world. Whether you are a business owner promoting your brand, or you are doing your first TEDx talk, following these tips on how to calm your nerves will help you rock that stage.

Speaking is a great way to promote your business. If you would like to learn other ways of how to promote your business successfully, check out our other articles on how to help your business succeed.