Monday Quick Tip: Relax


New public speakers often come to the stage carrying every single bit of anxiety along with them. As a result, they come off stiff, stilted, and uncomfortable. As acting uncomfortable is the quickest way to make the audience uncomfortable, it goes without saying that this is a problem.

Veteran public speakers get into a slightly different habit. They start to come off as over-polished, which makes them seem every bit as stiff and awkward as a newbie. Their audiences grow increasingly bored as they hitch on a fake personality and robot-dance their way through yet another presentation.

Regardless of whether you’re a new speaker, or a seasoned veteran of the rostrum, in order to beat the boredom you have to relax.

Loosen Up

First thing’s first: You’re definitely too tense. If there is too much tension in your body, in your muscles, you wind up being stiff and robotic. You look uptight, and your audience can sense it.

So, before you enter the room to take the stage, out in the corridor in a private corner, take a minute to loosen up. Stretch your limbs, bounce up and down on the balls of your feet, do the hokey pokey, whatever you need to do to relax your muscles and limber yourself up a little bit.

You don’t want to be flapping and flailing on stage, but you do want to move with some degree of grace. Being tense won’t help that.

Relax Your Voice

You’ll also want to limber up your voice a little bit before you take the stage. Stretch your facial muscles. Do some vocal warm-ups. Repeat some tongue twisters that focus on hard consonant sounds and sibilant sounds.

And when you open your mouth to speak, speak naturally. Don’t let yourself slip into a dreary monotone, or a stuffy “speaker voice”. Speak with authority, but make sure that you’re relatable and that you sound like you’re talking to your audience rather than at them.

Loosen up, lighten up, and relax. The stage may be a little intimidating, but that will all melt away when you relax and take ownership of the room.

How do you relax before you get in front of a crowd? Share your strategies in the comments!

  1. Ella says:

    A better magazine theme would make the blog nicer.:)