Three Tips For Before You Speak

By Ken Okel

For some, the moments before you give a presentation produce a lot of anxiety. The best way to overcome this is to have a pre-speech routine. Talking to a group can produce a lot of adrenaline in your body and these are some ways to help you stay relaxed and focused just before your presentation.

Know your opening remarks.
When you're talking, there are all sorts of potential distractions, from someone dropping silverware to the man who is doing a bad job of pretending not to look at his Blackberry. You can't let these distractions make you lose your focus. The longer you talk, you'll likely either get more relaxed or tense. Why not get off to a good start?

Laugh internally.
I find it useful to have a funny thought or a joke in my mind. This isn't for your audience, it's to put you at ease. It may be thinking about something your kids did that made you laugh.

Sometimes I'll remember the catchphrase Telly Savalas used to say on the TV show, "Kojak."
You know the one where he says, "Who loves ya, baby?" It always makes me laugh a little inside. These kinds of mental moments are good to use as a reset point for any negative thoughts that may be entering your mind.
Find a friend in the audience.

In almost any group, you'll have at least one person who is paying really good attention to you.
As you're addressing the crowd, you'll want to periodically look at them. Their enthusiasm for your talk can give you self confidence. This is one ready why some people have a tough time talking on the telephone when they don't know the person her or she is talking to. Imagine the difference between that and communicating one on one with someone who's right in front of you.
People send out non-verbal messages of support to speakers and you need to use them to center yourself.

Ken Okel is a communications expert who uses real life broadcasting experiences to help successful organizations communicate better, reduce stress, and laugh more. For his free newsletter and special report, 7 Communication Mistakes that are Costing You Money, go to

Plus visit his website to see the famous Police Dog Attack story video.

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