From my experience having worked with thousands of clients and students in voice and presentation skills, I will tell you, in no uncertain terms, that the most important thing you need to do to control your nervousness is to learn how to breathe with the support of your diaphragm.
Your immediate reaction might be that of course you breathe! Yes and no. In public speaking, the thing that most people do not do is to allow themselves the luxury of taking a breath before running out of air. That is why breathlessness is such a common complaint especially among novice speakers.
The breathing I am referring to specifically, however, is diaphragmatic breathing. All mammals do it; all newborns do it; and, all opera singers do it! It is only the rest of the world that isn’t doing it! We are renowned for being lazy breathers which means we use only the upper portion of the chest for respiration. What results is shallow breathing that actually increases our stress.
The more toxins in your body, the greater your stress. Number one priority for those experiencing a panic attack is to begin breathing with support. It relaxes the individual and calms them down.
What do you think the chances are that you breathe properly? If you are typical of 99% of the population, then you are a lazy or shallow breather. To see if you breathe properly, stand and take a deep breath. Did your shoulders rise? Did you pull in your mid-torso (diaphragm) area? If so, then you are part of the 99%.
Nervousness is wonderful because it is that rush of adrenaline that can take your speech or presentation to new heights. Controlling your nervousness, however, is the only way that that will happen.
By learning to breathe with support, you will discover the best means of getting that promotion as well as the elimination of much of the stress in your life, both professionally and personally.
The Voice Lady Nancy Daniels offers private, corporate and group workshops in voice and presentation skills as well as Voicing It!, the only video training program on voice improvement. Visit Voice Dynamic and watch Nancy as she describes Your Least Developed Tool!