Coaching

Do you get stage fright before going to face an audience? Then you’re in good company. A little stage fright is no bad thing, because it’ll help you concentrate. But too much stage fright can paralyse you, and then you need to react. Here’s a little rescue package.

First, take your time to prepare for your moment on stage. An hour’s rest would be ideal. You could go for a walk in the fresh air, put all other issues to one side and put the finishing touches on what you are about to say.

Loosen up physically. There’s lots of things you can do for that without breaking in a sweat: Bounce up and down lightly, roll on your feet from your heels to your toes, rotate your arms in big circles, or gently stretch your head and neck muscles to relax them.

An important point ahead of a speaking date is that you prepare your voice, You might try singing, or speaking loudly with an overemphasis on pronunciation. Pronounce vowels saying a-e-i-o-u, roll your tongue and stretch your lips. Make a sombre face, then break into a big grin, that’ll loosen up your facial muscles. It’ll also help you feel where the corners of your mouth are when you smile.

But the central exercise involves breathing: Drop the upper part of your body forward until you press the air out of your lungs. Then straighten up again, stretching out your arms to yoursides. Feel how air fills your lungs and your belly. Repeat the exercise as often as feels good.

Check your clothes to see whether they are orderly, but also make sure they do not fit too tightly and feel comfortable. Ladies should choose shoes in which they will be able to walk a few steps, so don’t choose heels that are too high.

To achieve mental stability, you might try repeating your key messages. Being sure of them will put you in control of the essence of the respective speaking appearance, and that will take care of any stress you feel.

Have another sip of water, breathe in deeply and out again, and you’re ready.

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