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Jun 18, 2011

The Best Techniques for Avoiding Nervousness While Giving a Speech

Giving a speech and public speaking both rank quite high on many people's list of fears, and it's typically because of a deeper fear of being judged or watched. Even though it's pretty hard to avoid anxiety during a speech, there are loads of ways to avoid it or dramatically reduce its intensity!

1. Stare at the Back Wall

Many times, when people begin giving their speeches, they get too wrapped up in the sea of faces staring back at them. A large audience can be intimidating when you're the only one up at the podium, but a great technique for avoiding nervousness is talking to the back wall. Not only will this help calm you down during a speech, it will also help your voice carry for you are to speaking to something so far away.

2. Keep Your Eyes on Familiar Faces

Some of the intimidation of giving speeches for some people stems from talking to so many unfamiliar people. One way to get around this anxiety is to focus your eyes on the people in the audience that you know and are comfortable with. If you don't personally know anyone in the audience, it also helps to select a few people that look genuinely interested and compassionate. You can even pretend that you are talking one-on-one with these few people but in a more formal tone. This definitely helps alleviate tension and anxiety.

3. Use Humor

In some cases, it can help to incorporate a little bit of humor into your speech if it calls for it. You can also decide to kick the speech off with a little joke or funny ice breaker to alleviate the tension and get things started on a smooth path. If you can get your audience loosened up and giggling, it will also help some of the nervousness to trickle off of you as well.

4. Bring Visuals

Visuals are already a nice way to convey your message further, but you can also use them if you tend to get nervous from all the attention being on you. Bringing visuals into your speech can take a lot of the attention off of you as soon as you present them. Using a PowerPoint presentation can really help with this because it serves as something that the audience can look at for the entirety of the speech.

5. Move Around

Standing in one spot during your entire speech can make stiff, and it can really make the speech seem a lot more intimidating. One thing that helps to lighten some of the tension is to move around and use different parts of the room. The audience will feel that the message is being given on a more conversational and casual level if you decide to move around. It also gives your muscles a chance to loosen up and relax!

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