How to Put Stress to Work for You
By Sandy Schroeder
Most of us become a little stressed, or a lot stressed, when we speak before a new group or give an important presentation at work. It’s both exciting and terrifying, but the good news is all of those negative vibes can be turned into positive energy.
Prevention.com tells us to do a reverse and turn everything around.
Accept fear – Of course you are nervous. As the adrenaline begins to flow, accept it. The minute you do, your body may relax and turn those currents into positive energy. It’s kind of like revving up a car. The whole idea is to get the show moving.
Picture good things – Imagine the impact you can make. Then concentrate on making your point. Often, as you get involved in persuading your audience you may simply forget to be nervous. I have seen worried speakers become effective communicators as they were pulled into the moment.
Learn from the best – Watch other effective speakers to see how they reach out to their audiences, and use their emotional energy to hold their attention. Study their gestures and listen to their voice. When they are good everything works together.
Do your homework – Spend the time to consider who your audience is, and prepare the right material for your presentation. Anticipate questions as you build your case. Look for the material that will spark the audience’s interest and hold it. The more prepared you are the more comfortable you will be as you give the presentation.
Face challenges realistically – If you think about it, you have probably faced other situations that were even more unnerving. Remember what you did, and why it worked. Putting your current presentation into perspective may do a lot to lower your stress.
Get to know your stress – Stress affects people in different ways. Knowing how it hits you can help you deal with it more effectively. If you feel yourself winding up before a big speech, step outside for a moment, or just pause and breathe.
Use your breath to stay cool – As tension builds and you approach the situation, take a deep breath and let your body relax. As you are speaking, if you catch yourself speeding up, pause and take another breath. Really look at your audience and remember what you wanted to tell them. Gradually, you may feel calmer, and you will hit your stride.
The more you speak the easier it will become. Learn from each presentation as you polish your techniques.
To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Schaumburg, Ill.