Coaching people for public speaking opportunities is one of my favorite elements when it comes to professional development. There is nothing better than seeing somebody positively influence an audience, generate energy in a room and possibly even change lives for some of the attendees.
During speech preparation process, my job is to answer questions while creating minimal anxiety. Most importantly, the day of the speech the less advice, the better. Before somebody steps on stage, the hay is in the barn – time to block out all distractions and execute!
An hour before the talk I recommend three things:
- A confidence-building activity that gets you a little winded such as wind-sprints, shadow boxing or pushups. This will raise your heart rate and then allow it to smoothly recover. You don’t want your heart rate to elevate for the first time when on stage.
- Deep breathing and meditation. Block out everything and focus on the way you’ll take the stage and the first words that will come out of your mouth.
- Your first sentence. I don’t suggest memorizing speeches except for the first line. Stick the landing on the first line and you’ll flow from there!