Part Two – Reducing Your Fear of Public Speaking  speech coach Karen Cortell Reisman

The Day of Your Speech:

  •  Be kind to yourself – Before your speech, listen to music that inspires you. Do not listen to the news or read the paper. Surround yourself with positive stimuli.
  • Drink room temperature water – Hot and cold liquids constrict your vocal cords. Room temperature water hydrates your voice and helps maintain vocal variety.
  • Dress with care – Wear something you love that is appropriate for your venue. I tell all my clients to dress one notch above what your audience will be wearing. You can always take off the tie or roll up your sleeves. It’s easier to get more casual than more formal once you’re at your speaking event.
  • Get to your venue early – You are the ‘host’ and your audience becomes your ‘guests’. In fact, I will meet my clients at the venue the day before a big presentation and practice in the exact setting. You will get more comfortable with your surroundings. I joke, “You’ll become friends with this hotel’s paisley carpet!”  Another reason to arrive early is to change the room setting to best suit you. You always want to have the most boring wall behind you. Don’t stand in front of windows, or a wall filled with books or charts or cute posters. You want your listeners to be concentrating on you and not what’s going on behind you.
  • Do some voice, face and body exercises – Sing in the shower, talk to your best friend, laugh at some funny video – wake up your voice. As for your face – go to the bathroom for this one – do the Prune Exercise! Contort your face – squeeze it together, move your lips around, make weird facial expressions…. Try to look like a prune. I did say do this in private! Your face becomes more relaxed and natural. Body exercises, if you have time, include taking a brisk walk the morning of your speech. Or, with less time, do some stretching. Stand and shake out your arms with the image that your negative nerves are falling to the floor.

Next week’s blog: Part Three – Reducing your fear of public speaking during your speech

Karen Cortell Reisman, M.S., author of 3 books and President of Speak For Yourself®, works with organizations on how to communicate to make more money. It’s all in how you speak for yourself. Read more at www.SpeakForYourself.com/blog/

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