This is a guest post by Steve Brown and London Speaker Bureau. Steve’s writing on various sites focuses on business related topics. Steve reminds us of a critical component of confident public speaking.
Public speaking remains one of the biggest fears for people around the world; even some of the greatest public speakers admit to stage fright before giving a talk. There is plenty of information available on how to overcome these nerves: to practice, evaluate and fully know your material. However, there is one thing which is frequently overlooked and yet can make a powerful difference to any speech.
“When you own your own breath, nobody can steal your peace.” -Unknown
That thing is breathing. By simply controlling your breathing, you will be better able to project your voice and people will hear you. People respond to confident, positive voices and will often not register someone who is speaking nervously. To become a great speaker, follow these breathing tips:
Posture matters the most when speaking in front of an audience
Standing correctly allows your lungs to fill with air and makes you look taller and more confident. To do this, stand with your feet apart in line with your shoulders, put your shoulders back, your ribcage in and your arms by your side.
Breathe deeply to relax your voice and calm your nerves
Now that your lungs are able to be filled with air, you will need to take a deep breath. You can see the affect of this by placing one hand on your chest and the other on your belly button. Concentrate on your stomach moving, not your chest. Exhale and repeat until you are comfortable doing this all the time.
“Let thy speech be better than silence, or be silent.” -Dionysius
My friend Lee Colan is the author of 13 books and the co-founder of The L Group. Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down and talk with him about leadership and attitude and consistent execution (or what Lee calls adherence).
Lee reminds us that so much of our success starts with our thoughts. Thoughts influence our beliefs, which influence our words. Our words reflect our commitments, which influence our choice of actions. Ultimately, our actions influence the results we achieve.
But it all starts with the thoughts in our head.
As Lee says it, “Your thoughts today lead to your results tomorrow.”
In this brief interview, Lee shares more about this model and why consistent execution is so important.
Below are a few stand-out quotes from Lee:
“Your thoughts today lead to your results tomorrow.” –Lee Colan
President George Washington died in 1799. Many celebrated his life on his birthday in February. Years later, Washington’s birthday became a federal holiday. Still later, Washington’s Birthday was replaced with President’s Day.
This year, most of the United States is endlessly focused on the current race for the highest office. Since we find these words splashed in the headlines, I thought it would be of interest to see some of the words spoken years ago.
44 Quotes from the 43 Presidents
Read that headline again. It’s true. We count Grover Cleveland twice because he was elected at two different times.
Here is a quote from each president in honor of the holiday:
“Associate with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for it is better to be alone than in bad company.” –George Washington
“Let us tenderly and kindly cherish, therefore, the means of knowledge. Let us dare to read, think, speak, and write.” –John Adams
All of us have spam that makes it through the email filters and lands in our inboxes. One scam after the next entices us. Your friend is trapped and needs money? Someone willed you a large fortune? Or the one that I recently noticed on Twitter was that I was related to someone who died in an airplane crash. The fortune was all mine if only I would send back all of my personal information. Ahem, I don’t think so…
“The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.” -e.e. cummings