A common problem for anxious presenters is talking too quickly not helped by extra adrenaline resulting in shallow upper chest breathing and tension in the body.
We all know how to breathe, don’t we? But chances are unless we are musicians, singers, athletes or completed some presentation skills training, we don’t know how to control our breath – and that’s something that makes a huge difference to our presentations. After all, deep, controlled breathing is necessary for good vocal production. Once you’ve got it right, your voice will be even and you’ll be able to project more effectively. You’ll also find that your breath will last longer, so no embarrassing gasping or breathlessness. In turn, you’ll feel less nervous and more in control.
Here’s how to achieve it:
There are many breathing exercises you can practise at home to increase breathing strength and technique. In time, controlled breathing will become second nature.
Prior to going on stage (or giving that important pitch) I always recommend you centre yourself with your breathing; a great little exercise to do this is take 3 deep breaths followed by one normal breath.
During your presentation, regulating your breathing is a great way to regulate your talking speed. If you start to talk too quickly, take a deep breath in through your nose and out through your mouth, then a normal breath, and continue. (If you’re wearing a microphone, do it quietly – as you don’t want to sound like Darth Vader)! You can disguise this action if you want to, by taking a moment to check your notes.
Your breathing plays a huge role in the success of your presentation. Slow and measured breathing is characteristic of control. That’s the characteristic you want. Prepared, ready and in control.
But ultimately, remember “Breathing is essential – DON’T STOP!”
Simply Amazing Training offers CPD accredited professional presentation training courses for companies and individuals. Call me today for a chat to discuss; we recognise that all of our clients are different and have different needs when it comes to their in house company training courses.
Simply Amazing Training also offers Insights Discovery (colours) personality profiles; this uses a simple, effective and usable model to understand an individual’s unique preferences, and those of the team. If you want to give your team even more tools to be successful, or fancy a change of pace for your conference or team meeting then get in touch. I deliver “colourful” interactive workshops on Insights Discovery which are tailored to your needs and leave participants feeling inspired.
Think about the speakers you admire, and you’ll notice that they share a common trait: they have all mastered how to use effective pauses. The humble pause is often overlooked, but it really shouldn’t be …
The presentation is your chance to shine. You are away from the constraints of just answering questions.
“What’s your X-Factor?”
Treat it as your opportunity to show others what makes you unique.
Recently we ran an event for the 40 members of the global sales team of a multi-national, working with them to ‘Tame their Public Speaking Monkeys’ and help them increase their confidence when presenting.