HOW TO BE A CONFIDENT SPEAKERJan 17, 2024
If you’ve ever wanted to be able to speak with confidence, then you’re reading the right article. That’s because you’re about to discover my method for overcoming the physical symptoms of speaking anxiety.
And the good news is that this method works even if the thought of speaking gives you the heebie- jeebies.
Firstly, we need to understand the important role our stress response has on the body:
The goal is not to eradicate anxiety, but more so to prevent it from stealing the show.
Some scenarios will always put us on edge but that’s actually okay. Bit of anxiety is actually a good thing. Research shows that a certain amount of stress actually helps to motivate us.
When we feel moderately stressed our bodies become energised and primed for action. 💪
Our mind becomes more alert and focused and becomes more attuned to others around us. Amazing!
What is not so amazing is some of the physical symptoms of anxiety
Here are 3 physical symptoms of stress and simple strategies to manage them:
This comes from all the adrenaline being pumped around as part of your body's flight or flight response. You can tame this by using some of that adrenaline and incorporating some walking and hand gestures into your speaking.
- SWEATY BETTY 😥
When we are feeling stressed our core body temperature rises and this can cause our cheeks to go red and for us to sweat. To bring your temperature down, hold an icy glass of water and take some sips, also holla at whoever is responsible for the AC, and ask them to please drop the temp a few notches.
- DRY MOUTH 😮
Salivary glands go on strike when you are in a stressed state. Not ideal when you are trying to form an articulate answer. 🙈 If you have time before you speak, suck on a lozenge or chew some gum this will help to activate those salivary glands back into action. Staying hydrated will also help 😉
I still remember one nightmare speaking engagement...I wore a pants suit on a hot day, with high heels. I could feel the sweat running down my back, my feet were swollen, and anxiety levels were high. I realised after many mistakes and outfit fails there are 3 golden rules for overcoming the physical symptoms of speaking stress and anxiety:
The 3 golden rules of counteracting physical discomfort:
- Prevent - think in advance about weather, are you standing for long periods, do you need to bring a snack so you don't get hungry. Prevention is always better than a cure.
- Recognise / awareness - be aware when those physical symptoms start to kick in. ignoring them leads to terrible results (trust me, I know!)
- Remedy or explain - if you can remedy in the moment, ie get a cold glass of water to help with the sweating, great! But if not there is no harm in bringing the audience along for the journey. “Hey guys it sure is a warm one today”
And there you have it – a simple strategy for overcoming the physical symptoms of anxiety to be a confident speaker.. Now that you know how to prepare for success and , there’s just one thing left for you to do: take action.
Good luck honeys, let me know how you go and dont forget to check back here soon for the next installment on how to be a confident speaker. We will deep dive on how to manage the sources of anxiety.
Join my online leadership course and learn the skills, principles and practices you need to become a high-performing leader of high-performing teams.