Whether you’ve been roped in to giving a speech at a works function or have to perform best man duties at a wedding, it’s normal to feel nervous about public speaking. In fact, it’s one of the most common phobias among British adults.
Preparing well in advance and practising what you’re going to say will give you a boost of confidence on the day, but did you know warming up your voice can also help you deliver a great speech?
Here are a few simple exercises you can do before giving a speech or speaking at a business meeting or other event.
Perfect your breathing
Take slow, controlled and deep breaths, focusing on getting the air deep into your abdomen. Imagine your stomach is a balloon that you’re trying to fill up with air. Place your hands on your stomach to really focus your attention. Hold the breath for a few seconds and then slowly exhale through your mouth. This technique is also great at helping relax you if you’re nervous ahead of your speech. Healthline features this and several other breathing techniques designed to help you beat anxiety or stress, and you can read about the benefits of deep breathing and controlling your exhaling at https://www.healthline.com/health/breathing-exercises-for-anxiety.
If you regularly need to give speeches and need help with confidence, why not hire a motivational speaker such as https://www.adventureman.org/motivational-speaker/ to help you beat those nerves?
Warm up your tongue
Yes, you read that right. The aim here is to loosen up your tongue. Roll your tongue in your mouth as quickly as you can, in silence at first and then by sighing out loud as you do. It might feel stiff and unnatural at first but will soon loosen up!
Humming is a great way to warm up your vocal chords and your mouth. You’ve probably heard singers warming up in this way before a performance. When you hum, the vibrations will loosen up your vocal chords, particularly important if your speech is in the morning and you haven’t talked to anyone yet! Hum for as long as you can – really hold it and push yourself. Next, move up and down the scale from high to low and back again. Try to keep your lips and mouth loose as you hum and avoid clenching your jaw.