Controlling A Nervous Voice
Date: September 21, 2016
We’ve all been there. Being shocked by the number of people in front of us, knees shaking and eyes bulging. When it comes to opening your mouth, waves of trembles come out.
Here’s a mind-blowing conundrum: You’re not the only one who begins a presentation with anxiety.
It doesn’t mean that’s how it has to be though. Here are some ways for controlling a nervous voice and telling your story with confidence and energy.
Destroy Nerves In The Voice
Firstly, let’s address why most of us get nervous. We care so much about what lies ahead that we fear it not going as planned.
What if someone asks a complicated question? How do I carry on if I forget my lines? What if people are bored?
Life is full of what ifs, but you can’t live like that. Stop right there. Repeatedly ask yourself the series of questions which spiral around in your mind, driving you crazy. Repeat them until they no longer mean anything.
Now focus on the positive. People love you and you were hired for this event because you’re clearly good enough, so all you have to do is continue doing what you were doing before.
Improve your breathing technique. When we’re anxious, our body forces us to pant and fight for oxygen because it thinks we’re in danger. You are not in danger.
Vocal Techniques For Anxiety
Take deep breaths and imagine the negative energy leaving your body with each exhale. On the inhale, visualise positive vibes filling your body.
Your heart rate will lower and you’ll instantly feel calmer. Whenever you feel your heart racing on stage, take deep breaths and relax the shoulders.
Everything in the body is connected and it all starts with the brain. If you think that you’re nervous and everything will go wrong, then you’ll submit a signal to your nervous system which will raise a red flag.
From there, you won’t be able to speak as you normally can when you’re chatting with friends. Everything sounds wobbly and it becomes more difficult to construct a sentence to the back of the room.
Tell yourself that everything is going to be okay. Reassure yourself, rather than feeding yourself terrifying thoughts.
You are strong and powerful. You have been through much scarier things than this and can accomplish anything.
Listen to calming music and interact with positive friends to reassure you.
Keep up a healthy breathing technique throughout your entire speech. Slowly breath in and slowly breath out to pump oxygen around your body.
During speaking itself, don’t tighten the throat to get power, but push off from the ground to give you a solid foundation for volume. This takes the strain off the voice and helps you to engage the diaphragm.
Be conscious of keeping the jaw relaxed. Once it tenses up, so does your tongue and you’ll feel a strong desire to swallow. This will then cause the voice to shake and display anxiety.
Use short sentences so that you don’t run out of breath and end up gasping at the end of a phrase. It will be less intimidating to make several bullet points, rather than lengthy ideas.
Your voice is powerful and will express how you’re feeling on the inside. Think of the words you’re expressing and concentrate on their meaning; that’s what you’re there for – to convey meaning and knowledge.
Everything else is irrelevant.
Allow the voice to show your emotion and don’t force yourself to hide behind an invisible wall. Be honest and relax.
You’re human and bound to show a nervous voice, but don’t let those negative feelings dictate your career. Deep breaths and you’ll be absolutely fine. We promise.