It’s said that some people would rather die than speak in public. You might be one of them. Certainly, if you’re a sensitive person, you might avoid public speaking at all costs.
Public speaking can be difficult for the sensitive person, because we’re often more concerned about what other people feel and think. This can create a sense of anxiety, and anxiety, of course, makes it really hard to articulate clearly.
When we’re feeling anxious, or overly stressed, we experience a rise in cortisol. This rise in cortisol triggers blood loss from the thinking part of our brain. High cortisol limits the brain’s ability to process and articulate information. This, obviously, makes effortless articulation nearly impossible – especially on the stage or in front of a group.
So what to do? Here are some steps to make public speaking easier for you. These are the steps I take each time I speak or offer a workshop:
Be prepared. No matter the type of speaking engagement, it’s crucial to do your work ahead of time. This means doing your research, refining and updating your knowledge, planning your talk, writing your outline, and creating any hand-outs or informational documents. Ahead of time. Preparation will help you deepen your well of knowledge about your topic. It’s this well of knowledge that will help keep you in the flow once you’re on stage.
Let Go. Once you’ve done your preparation, you’re ready to let go. Allow time (plenty) before your event to permit the creative process to take over. Keep a notebook handy to write down spontaneous ideas and additions to add to your outline. This is the time to give your mind a break. You’ve done the work, it’s time to trust the process.
Relax. Use the hours before your event to relax. Meditate. Listen to soothing music. Take a walk in Nature. Keep your energy field as clear as possible from negative disruptions. Get yourself into the ‘zone’ of relaxed energy flow.
Use Stress-Relief Tools. So, you’ve done your preparation. You’ve allowed the creative process to work with you. You’ve relaxed (hopefully). Now, when your moment on stage is imminent, use in-the-moment tools to relieve stress. These tools include:
Deep Breathing – Slow, deep breaths will turn on the relaxation response.
EFT Tapping – Tapping on the karate chop, or other points – this helps to reduce cortisol, so you can think more clearly.
Heart Breath – Close your eyes, and Imagine that you’re taking slow, deep breaths in and out of your heart. Allow yourself to sense the energy in your heart lightening and expanding. Breathe this way for 1 minute or longer. The Heart Breath helps to entrain the brain to be calmer and more effective.
Speak. You’re fully prepared. You have a deep well of knowledge. You might even have a brief outline by your side to refer to if needed. You’ve used your relaxation tools. Now it’s time to let go, and move into your zone. Allow your knowledge and talent to flow through you. Speak. It’s all within you. You’ve got this, go for it!
Need help getting up the courage to speak, or to put yourself ‘out there’? Reach out to me, and learn how EFT tapping can help.