Many of us have been there. We know that we need plenty of sleep ahead of our presentation, so we go to bed early the night before. And that’s when anxiety insomnia strikes; we can’t sleep before the big event. The more we lie awake, the more we worry. And the more we worry, the more we lie awake. By the time our alarm goes off in the morning, we’re not exactly feeling fresh as a daisy.
As well as making you feel physically grotty, sleep deprivation is terrible for brain function. It affects everything from attention-span and decision-making to creativity and cognition. So if you can’t sleep the night before your presentation, it’s bound to negatively impact your performance.
So what can we do about this anxiety insomnia, one of the most prevalent speech anxiety symptoms? We can tackle it head-on, that’s what! Your stress and anxiety is caused by 3 main issues mindset, body language/voice, and skillset.
We often begin our presentation skills training talking about how to develop a positive mindset when presenting. Often people tell us about their ‘Public Speaking Monkeys’ – the voices of self-doubt that say negative and discouraging things (“Your hands are shaking like a leaf”, “You look terrible”, “Your voice sounds shaky”…that kind of thing). Our award-winning technique outlined in our book ‘Taming You’re Public Speaking Monkeys‘ shares how to deal with this. In our training, we also show participants how to think about presenting in a more positive light and they begin to understand that the presentation is not actually focussed on them and should be focussed on the audience.
If you haven’t had enough sleep, it is likely your body language will show the symptoms of being tired. You might slump in your seat, your head will be down and then your voice won’t project properly. Instead, you want your body language and voice to project energy and enthusiasm. Using the correct presenter stance & breathing techniques will help you to do this.
People lose sleep when they under-prepare and over-prepare. If you are under-prepared, you might worry about what questions you may get asked and if you are going to deliver well enough. If you over-prepare you are likely to lose sleep because you are working late into the night and worrying too much about getting the presentation perfect. The answer is to do an appropriate amount of preparation. We show people how to do three main things:
If you have any questions or are ready to get started beating anxiety insomnia please get in touch today. You and your sleep won’t regret it!