Breathing

January 4, 2010

‘B’ for Breathing is probably almost as important as ‘A’ for Audience, because if you do not breath the presentation will not last long!

When we are nervous, it is all to easy to forget to breath properly.  You stand up ready to present, start your opening sentence and find that you are out of breath before you finish it.  This starves your body of oxygen and increases the state of anxiety.  There is of course a simple cure, before you start to talk, take deep breaths using both your abdomen and chest to fill your lungs with lovely fresh invigorating air. 

In the same way as athletes start deep breathing before they start running to maximise the amount of oxygen in their blood stream, you should adopt the same practice.  When you first stand up in front of your audience, smile, look around the room, take a few deep breaths and then start your presentation.  Do not rush in and do not wait until you are out of breath before you start to breath deeply.

Taking deep breaths is also one of the best ways of countering the fear, which is often associated with public speaking.  So if you are nervous beforehand, which is a perfectly normal, practise breathing deeply.  Place you hand on your abdomen and feel it go out and in with each breath, counting to five when you breathe in and again when you breathe out.

Try it now, put your hand on your stomach just below your rib cage and take a deep breath in.  Did you hand you in or out?  It should have gone out as your diaphram pushes down on your stomach. Don’t worry if your hand went in, just try again pushing your stomach out and then your chest out to really fill your lungs wirth fresh air.

Presentation Training and Coaching is available from the author of this blog. Please visit my presentation training  website.

Give me a day and I’ll change your presentations, forever

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