It is simple, it is basic, it is fundamental, and, it is a necessity. It is something we do every day without a 2nd thought. At the lectern, however, it is something we do not allow to happen and yet it is something we cannot do without.

It is called breathing. The 1st thing your body did at birth was to take a breath. And, it will be the last thing you do at death. In public speaking, it is something we never consider and is the one thing we are often lacking while addressing an audience.

Without air, there is no voice. And, since voice is the one thing we cannot do without in public speaking, the process of breathing is something we should do conscientiously before we begin the speech or presentation and while we are delivering it as well.

Have you ever watched a speaker and noticed the pitch of his/her voice getting progressively higher and higher and the speed getting faster and faster as well? In some cases, you may even hear the voice shaking or quivering. Those commonalities are a result of nervousness and breathlessness. While nervousness is good; lack of air is not. The former will make you more alert and more focused if you can take control of it. The latter will only make you more desperate.

If you can learn to breathe with the support of your diaphragm, you will discover the best means of controlling your nervousness. In addition, breathing with the support of your diaphragm (and using your chest to power your sound) is the best means of eliminating the quiver. It will also keep your pitch from rising and your speed from accelerating. It is truly amazing to see how much more control you have in your delivery when you can control your voice.

The problem with an increase in speed, a rise in pitch, and a voice that quivers is that they are a dead giveaway that you are nervous. And, while I value nervousness and its benefits, I don’t want your audience to see it or to hear it.

Yes, I am nervous when I speak professionally on TV, on the radio, or in a public speaking venue. But, my audience is not aware of it because I am in control of it. That control allows me to concentrate on my delivery and not on my nerves, all of which I can attribute to breathing.

Breathing is basic. Learn to breathe correctly and discover a control you never knew you had.

Author's Bio: 

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. For more information on upcoming workshops, visit Nancy's Voice Training Workshops.