Wear a confidence mask. Some of the most dynamic, charismatic speakers may panic inside. But they hide it well.
In the minutes before your speech, tell yourself, “I’m nervous, but I’m the only one who has to know.” Then loosen your facial muscles (drop your jaw, raise your eyebrows, pucker your lips), take five deep breaths and visualize the impressed looks on your listeners’ faces as you close your presentation.
By the time you take the stage, you should look cool and calm. Before saying a word, make eye contact with a friendly face and nod to that person warmly.
Tighten the rope. Poor posture can sabotage your speech. Your slouching will divert listeners from your remarks.
Solution: Imagine a rope runs from your midsection straight along your spine, up through your head, directly to the ceiling. As you stride to the front of the room and prepare to speak, pretend to pull the rope nice and taut. That way, you’ll stand up straight and command attention before you say a word.
Lubricate your voice. In the five minutes before your presentation, keep talking (even if you must whisper). Whether you’re backstage, in the audience or on a panel, chat with someone. Talking reduces your anxiety and keeps your voice active so you don’t get “cotton mouth.” Also, drink an extra glass of water as a last-minute preparation.