Breathe Before You Present
Public speaking is commonly dreaded all over the world. At the same time, nothing is more exciting than a powerful speech or presentation. It has created and changed history, inspired millions to act. Professionally, speeches and presentations contribute to you and your company climbing up the ladder of success.
But what is the secret to being a great orator? Of course, practice is an important element. If you haven’t practiced the words you plan to speak out loud, your mind will be unprepared for the effort your heart and voice muscles are expected to put in. But the amazing secret to more confident and dynamic public speaking is – Breathing. While breathing is the most normal unconscious bodily function, when you speak publicly, you begin to feel uptight because you are not actively expressing empty breath and that dead air has no alternative but to get lodged in and tighten up your chest. After some time, your brain starts to become starved of oxygen leading to the eventuality of you passing out.
When delivering a speech or presenting, you need more oxygen to project sound outward. And you also need to lengthen your exhalation, since speech is simply controlled outward breath. The correct way to breathe for speeches and presentations is to breathe diaphragmatically or what is called ‘belly breathing’. This allows for plenty of freshly oxygenated air inside you when you begin to perform.
Diaphragmatic breathing allows your lungs to expand fully to produce a full reservoir of air. This is the level of oxygen you need to produce strong and resonant speech. Presenting or giving a speech is no less than a performance and the effort required to deliver a spellbinding presentation or speech is similar to the effort required to go on an invigorating run. The fact is when you use your diaphragm to breathe, the result is far beyond the simple production of sound. Read few of the benefits below:
- Slows your heart rate and calms you down physically, thereby reducing your nervousness.
- Provides enough oxygen to your brain so that you are sharp and mentally present.
- Aids your erect stance and appearance, avoiding a ‘caved in’ look, helps you appear prepared and professional.
- Creates the sound of authority that will make your arguments credible and persuasive.
- Supports sound till the end of the sentence, adds ‘punch’ to the important words and phrases that drive your story.
- You appear calm, confident and in control, and appear as a practiced speaker.
These benefits help create credibility, authority, and believability in you as a speaker—all attributes you need for public speaking success.