It is normal to be nervous when you are about to deliver a keynote speech before a large audience. What’s no longer healthy is not doing anything to fight it. Don’t worry. Here are seven ways to fight nervousness:
1.Have something to hold in your pocket
Many people feel safe and assured when they have something to cling to. A handkerchief does it for some, while others prefer to fiddle with a pen or coin. For as long as it is concealable in your pocket, you can keep it.
This is an intrinsic tendency of humans that starts from childhood when babies need to hold feeding bottles to feel secure and toddlers need to hold their mothers’ skirts when nervous. This works fine for many keynote speakers, but if it does not work for you, try pressing a stress ball behind the podium instead.
2.Take a deep breath
Nothing beats a deep breath in calming your nervous mind. Increasing the oxygen level in your blood into your brain is scientifically proven to lower stress hormones and boost feel-good hormones.
Make breathing exercise through the diaphragm a habit every time you go out on stage. Do it five minutes before you start, and also make sure to take deep breaths as you pause.
Bad posture aggravates nervousness because it induces more production of cortisol, your stress hormone. Studies show that people who slouch often also feel less confident and appreciative of themselves. Bad posture represents lack of faith in your own words, so why should the audience believe you?
Perk up, straighten your back and shoulders, and stand on both feet when delivering the speech. This will not only make you feel better, but also make you look like one of the seasoned keynote speakers.
4.Greet the audience with a smile
Starting your speech with a big smile does not only make you look attractive and warm but also uplift your confidence. Smiling alone already increases your feel-good hormones, particularly your endorphin. Moreover, smiling is contagious, so your audience also tends to reciprocate the gesture. Don’t you find it reassuring to see smiling faces on the crowd as your speak?
This is usually enough to make you forget about your nervousness, so make smiling a habit on and off the stage.
5.Think of a time when you felt so proud of yourself
While waiting for your turn for the microphone, visualize yourself in your proudest and most powerful moment to strengthen your spirit. Remind yourself why you have been chosen as the keynote speaker for that special event. It can be a moment you won an award, or when you performed on stage with thundering applause overwhelming you. It can be a time you validated your abilities or when somebody recognized you for something.
You might not realize it, but you surely have a lot of reasons to be proud of yourself and your abilities. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be invited to become a keynote speaker in an event.
6.Learn some reflexology tricks
Not many keynote speakers know this, but applying reflexology really helps a lot in calming your nerves. Your hands have different pressure points that correspond to a particular health concern, but for nervousness, a simple finger and palm massage will do. Press the tips of your fingers long and hard before releasing. This will help you calm down.
7.Imagine the reward
Again, resort to visualization. This time, imagine the reward of being a keynote speaker in that particular event. What do you aim at? Do you intend to establish a long-term career as one of the most in-demand keynote speakers in town? Are you looking forward to publishing your own book or starting your own coaching company? Do you want to get more clients through your convincing and moving speech? Looking forward to your main goals in life helps in motivating you while setting aside your worries.
Keynote speakers are operator who can influence the lives of others.The job of a serious speaker is to capture their attention and keep them centered throughout the event.