How to Stop Shaking when Making a Speech

Does talking in front of crowds give you butterflies? Do you start to sweat, tremble, or shake? Learn how to keep your cool when giving a speech.

Steps

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    Practice your speech several times alone and then in front of at least one other person. If you can, put some bullet points on an index card that will help you to remember your ideas.
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    Practice in front of the mirror if you can't find anyone else. Watch for things like eye contact, or nervous gestures like running a hand through your hair, or foot tapping.
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    Create props for your speech, such as photos, lists of key points, or objects. When you are focused on explaining a prop you will "forget" about the audience and be less nervous. But be careful, and don't talk into the object. Keep projecting your voice into the audience so that they can hear you.
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    Practice in the room where you will be speaking, if possible. Knowing the territory, and testing out how loud you must be in order to be heard is an advantage.
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    Find a focal point (or several) in the room just above the audiences heads. Instead of staring into many pairs of eyes, find something like a window with a view, preferably a calming one.
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    Take slow, deep breaths before your speech.
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    Wear a favorite piece of clothing, or carry a lucky object.
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    Find several other people in the audience that appeal to you and "speak" to them. If they can give you a thumbs-up, or an encouraging smile, it can help unimaginably.
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    If you are allowed to move around during the speech, plan out where you will walk. Choreography will help take your mind off the audience. If you will move during the speech, check out anything that might make you trip.
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    Before you speak, do a "hokey pokey" in the privacy of a bathroom and shake out your hands too. This will loosen you up. Vocal exercises that can help the voice are good, as well.
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    Eat a healthy meal before your speech, but not too much. If you already feel nervous, having a full-to-bursting stomach is not good.
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    Focus on people's foreheads. It will appear as if you're making eye contact. This way, you will not have to stare into critical eyes, if there are any.

Tips

  • Never hold a piece of plain paper in your hand while speaking. It will flutter with every tiny movement and exaggerate all your shakes. If you need notes, write them on index cards.
  • Keep in mind that you will stand out more if you stutter and use "um"s in every sentence than if you were to give a speech perfectly and without speech fright. Don't be afraid that people will think your speech is horrible, and realize that probably a lot of other people in your class, or school, etc, have nervousness when giving a speech.
  • If you're presenting in a class with other students, then try to go first. You should get a better grade, because your speech is the base for all other speeches and if you build the confidence to go first you should be confident on stage.
  • If you are really nervous take a small paperclip up on stage (or in class) bending it will help!
  • Get a good night's sleep

Warnings

  • If you have a medical condition causing your body to shake or react in ways that embarrass you, speak to a doctor or nurse about what you can do to help yourself.

Article Info

Categories: Public Speaking