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Anxious About Public Speaking? Then It’s Time for a Dress Rehearsal

Successful public speakers have a routine in place that pumps them up and preps them for the pressure, and they practice. And practice. Then practice some more. Then, they rehearse.

Dress Rehearsal - Mic On StageIf you’re just letting your thoughts, and heart rate, run wild before a public speech or presentation, you’re not tapping into your inner rock star.

 

So if you wanna rock out next time make a speech, grab your hairbrush and hold it up it your mouth like a mic (yes, seriously) because it’s time for dress rehearsal!

Here Are Four Techniques to Make Sure Your DRESS Rehearsal Isn’t Just a STRESS Rehearsal:

1. Remember a time in your life when you succeeded at something.

Or remember the last time you were confident. Maybe you were just confident the sun was going to come up or that the mortgage would be due. Or maybe it was a job interview you nailed. It doesn’t have to be a speech.

Recall what you felt like at that it time. How did your stomach feel? How did you walk? How did you talk? Why did you do so well?

Maybe it was actually the jitter and the excitement! There should always be some kind of excitement before speaking. Do not fear the butterflies in your stomach. You need them. Otherwise, you will sound like a talking Valium.

Practice conjuring up these feelings of confidence and excitement. When the real deal comes you will be better at getting in the zone.

2. Listen to music to get in the mood before dress rehearsal, or the real thing.

Swing music is a great choice. Whatever makes you feel confident. Whether it’s gangsta rap or Celine Dion, turn it on. But remember, you want to be peppy not schlepy. 

3. On the other hand…you also don’t want to get so excited you hyperventilate.

So if you’re getting overwrought take a few minutes to practice this breathing exercise:

• Breathe in and count for four, hold your breath for sixteen, then exhale for eight.
• Do this ten times.
• You need to track this on paper as it will be hard to remember how many reps you’ve completed.
• You may feel light-headed at first.
• Just relax and keep going. Just remember 4, 16, 8 x 10. (Don’t practice this one while driving.)

Don’t just practice your lines. Rehearse them. This means make the situation as real as possible.

4. Create a mock podium, audience and stage.

Do everything you can do to make the situation as much like it will be when speech day comes.If you are going to be using slides, rehearse with them. Put on the clothes you will be wearing that day.

Lying on your couch in sweatpants while you memorize your lines is not going to get you where you want to be. Remember when your fourth grade piano teacher told you she told you practice makes perfect? Well, she was almost right.

Rehearsal makes it perfect.

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