VOX tips

A handy guide to managing the jitters

Your heart’s racing…

You’ve got five minutes before you speak at the conference / make your case to the committee / address the staff. You’ve prepared good material, rehearsed thoroughly and tested the equipment. But you’ll be under scrutiny. You’re worried that you might perform poorly and be judged a failure. Your mouth feels dry, you’re breathing heavily and your heart’s racing.

Here’s how to manage your nerves so you can deliver the goods:

Before you enter the spotlight

  • Go for a short walk to relax
  • Breathe calmly, from the diaphragm
  • Shake your wrists to dispel tension
  • Smile – it’s a natural relaxant
  • Visualise your interested and attentive audience

When you’re in the spotlight

  • Keep up the calm breathing
  • Just before you start, pause for a moment, make eye contact and smile
  • Slow down and articulate clearly – no gabbling
  • Fall in love with the full stop
  • STAY (stop thinking about yourself) – it’s all about them