In public speaking or any other type of live performance, the idea of trying to get rid of your nervousness is definitely not the right approach. Nervousness is that wonderful rush of adrenaline that can make you sharper, more alert and more focused. In fact, the benefits of nervousness are so powerful that trying to eliminate it is a huge mistake.
The secret in dealing with nervousness is to learn how to take control of it. In doing so, you will find that it will work for you and not against you. And, the best means of controlling those nervous jitters - instead of your nervousness controlling you - is by breathing with the support of your diaphragm, something most people are unaware and most definitely not doing. The majority of the population resorts to upper chest or lazy breathing.
I am sure that you are wondering how breathing can make such a difference. First of all, many novice public speakers never even bother to breathe when speaking. This is why you often hear the pitch of their voice going higher and higher and their speed getting faster and faster. They are trying desperately to catch up on their limited air supply. The problem with this scenario is that lack of air, coupled with shallow breathing, actually increases nervousness.
It is a known fact that when someone is experiencing a panic attack, the 1st thing they are taught is to sit and take a deep breath. When you breathe in this manner, your body is able to rid itself of toxins in the blood that shallow or upper chest breathing is unable to do. Therefore, if you are a lazy breather and you are nervous addressing an audience, your breathing is actually increasing your nervousness.
When you learn how to breathe diaphragmatically, which is the same type of breathing used in meditation and yoga, you will discover that you are in control of your nervousness. When that happens, you are able concentrate on your message and your delivery instead of your nerves.
One woman with whom I worked thought she was going to vomit before addressing my class during our 1st session. After learning how to breathe with support, not only was she able to give presentations without being nauseous, but she actually got a promotion at work and was on the road speaking to all the branches of her bank.
Don’t try to get rid of your nervousness. Learn how to breathe correctly and watch what your nervousness can do for you!
The Voice Lady Nancy Daniels offers private, and group training in voice and presentation skills as well as Voicing It!, the only video training program on voice improvement. Visit Nancy's Voice Training Website and watch as she describes the best means of controlling nervousness in any form of public speaking or for more information on upcoming workshops, visit Voice Dynamic.