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Take a MINUTE to Relax

Some say the nervousness before a performance is both natural and necessary. While nature may create the feeling, it is certainly not necessary. If you can eliminate the jitters BEFORE a presentation, you will be able to deliver your message more effectively.

The easiest way to reduce the adrenaline rush and rapid heartbeat is to create some activity (action) as a way of relaxing — physically.

A limber body is always more relaxed under any pressure. Stretching exercises and other minor aerobic activities will definitely help you to relax before giving a presentation. Here is a ONE-MINUTE warm-up routine to do, before presenting.

The UPPER body can become less tense by actually using tension (isometrics) where you press your palms against each other across your chest (as if your arms are fighting with one another). Create the tension for 10 seconds and release. Do this twice (20 seconds in all).

The LOWER body can relax in 15 seconds. Wiggle your toes for 5 seconds, tighten your leg muscles for 5 seconds, and shift your weight to either foot about four times, which should take another 5 seconds.

The CORE of the body gets loose by holding your hands on your lower back and bending slightly backwards and holding that position for 10 seconds.

The NECK muscles need to stretch by pretending you are the needle of a “compass” — look straight up (North), then straight down (South), then side to side (East/West), all this for about 5 seconds.

The MOUTH area is the most important. Stretch the jaw muscles horizontally by saying the word “See”. Then, stretch the muscles vertically by saying the word “Saw”. Repeat the “see-saw” phrase slowly 5 times, which should take about 10 seconds in total.

Add them all up and this one-minute drill uses external actions to take the focus away from thinking too much about the opening moments of your presentation, thus reducing tension and nervousness.

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