9 simple tips to prepare and relax before public speaking

Going in front of a crowd to present something can be demanding, and you need to be on your A-game. Here are some simple tips that will make you feel great before your public speaking event.

 #1 – Listen to music: If there is one thing that sure changes my mood, it’s music. Bad music can put a damper on a great day currently happening, and good music – to me – will put me in a better mood, almost instantly. There is a reason you see top performing athletes with headsets and music in their ears before the big game. This is your big game!

#2 – Practice your speech: Make sure to practice your speech. This is often what makes or breaks a great presentation. Not just because know your material better, but because of the calmness that comes with knowing that you are prepared. You have done your job and you know it. You are ready.

#3 – Write down memo cards: As a step to help you remember your speech, you can write down your speech on cards to see how much you can remember at a time. Furthermore, you can use these cards and memo cards during your speech, just like the gameshow hosts do!

#4 – Socialize: By socializing you will get out of your head, and perhaps you can even discuss some talking points with your friends or family. If you need to practice in front of a live audience, who better than your friends?

#5 – Get your sweettooth on: Eat some icecream, seriously. Alternatively, chocolate. Chocolate works too. Just read this article from psychologytoday.

I don’t really need science to tell me that icecream sooths my nerves , though. It’s there, it’s delicious and it’s glorious. Icecream for president!

#6 – Take a hot shower and combine with #1: While you wash your worries away, rock out to your favourite jams. Singing can help get those frustrations out, and by focusing on the rhythm, lyrics and moods of your songs, you’ll soon start to channel those good vibes instead of the bad ones.

The hot shower will calm you down and you will feel fresh and ready for your speech.

#7 – A walk can work wonders: Get some air, reflect on your talking points and visualize yourself speaking in front of the audience. Mild activity will get you ready and calm your nerves.

#8 – Imagine yourself excited, not nervous:  Framing the situation can give or take power from it. You are feeling some tension in your gut. Is it nerves and uncertainty? Or is it you, being excited and ready to embark to the stage on your public speaking-gig?

By framing what the sensations you are experiencing means, you will tell you mind and body how to react.

#9 – Control your inner voice: When we are being passive with our minds, negative thoughts drift unguarded through our heads and wreck havoc: “I’m not good enough!”, “are you sure they like you?”. Negative thoughts are then what is in focus, and what is in focus will be assigned greater importance in our minds. This will make us affected by the negativity. But by actively thinking positive affirmations like “You can do this!”, “I’m the greatest zoo-keeper there ever was, and that tiger is not getting out today!” we will push aside the negative thoughts. Not only will this avoid the assigned importance to the negative thoughts, but the positive ones will be in focus. This means that after a while you will start to feel the effects of your positive thinking.