7 Tips to Calm Your Public Speaking Nerves

I meet people all the time who tell me they are afraid to speak in public.

I recently spoke to a woman who is promoting a new business. She wants to get spots on TV. But public speaking makes her so nervous she’s not going for it.

Public speaking – to groups or 1-to-1 – invites criticism and feedback. Who wants that?

If you’re afraid to speak up, you may miss out on opportunities. Most of the people I talk to want to make a difference.

I’ve spent a lot of time over the last seven years practicing my speaking skills and my heart still races before I speak.


I don’t believe in becoming fearless when it comes to public speaking. However, I do think you can fear speaking less. Some fear shows you care. The key is to use that energy – the racing heart, sweaty, palms, elevated heart rate – to your advantage. Use it to research your topic and your audience. Use it to craft your content. Use it to practice.

When you feel less nervous and more confident about public speaking, you can take advantage of opportunities (instead of miss out on them) and make a bigger difference.

7 Tips to Calm Your Public Speaking Nerves

  1. Breathe. Inhale and an exhale before you speak. (Or smell the roses and blow out the candle.) Pause every now and then during a speech or conversation and do the same. You’ll decrease your “ums” and “ahs”, stay grounded and present, and your audience gets a chance to absorb what you’ve told them.
  2. Straighten your posture. Boost confidence and energy with a quick posture exercise. Stand with your feet flat, shoulders relaxed and back, chest open, chin parallel to the floor. You’ll appear and feel taller and more confident.
  3. Get support. Join Toastmasters, hire a coach, gather a group of like-minded colleagues.
  4. Practice. Practice is the key to success as a speaker. Again Toastmasters can help. Also, attend networking events, take on leadership roles and practice at home.
  5. Know your purpose. Why do you want to speak? A strong purpose will allow you to put that nervous energy to good use.
  6. Focus on your audience. Know your audience and their needs to craft a message that helps them. Remember, public speaking isn’t about you. It’s about meeting audience needs.
  7. Know your content. Pick a topic you have an interest in or knowledge about, do your research and practice, practice, practice.

Your turn:

Do you get nervous about public speaking? What are your strategies to calm your public speaking nerves and speak with more confidence? (Or do you avoid it?)

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1 Comment:

  • http://curefearofpublicspeaking.com/ Fear of Public Speaking

    A good posture is very important and helps create a level of confidence for the speech. I read http://curefearofpublicspeaking.com/ to help overcome my fear when speaking infront of lots of people.

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