Introduction to Y4PS Module 3: Breath Practices for Public SpeakersJun 21, 2023
If you've ever had to give a presentation, chances are you've experienced the dreaded "butterflies." If you're like most people, your body is trying to tell you something: You're nervous and anxious.
But what if there were a way to calm your nerves and put the brakes on that feeling of anxiety before it got out of hand? What if there were a way for you to feel confident, relaxed, and in control when you step up to the podium?
Well, there is! In additions to the Movement Practices and Meditation Techniques (coming out later this summer), this module is all about Breath Techniques and breathwork.
Breathwork is a simple technique that uses breathing exercises to help reduce stress, boost confidence and self-esteem, and improve performance. And it's super easy! In this post, we'll talk about how breathwork can help with public speaking anxiety (and help you calm down before those big presentations).
Breathwork isn't just for performers—it can be used by anyone who ever feels nervous or anxious about speaking in front of others. It's an incredibly simple practice that anyone can learn quickly. And once you've mastered it, it will become an integral part of your public speaking toolkit.
You may have heard it before, but the best way to master public speaking is by practicing. In this module we’ll focus on breathing techniques that you can use during your next presentation. These techniques are easy to learn and will help you keep your cool when the pressure mounts.
In this module, you’ll learn:
- How breath practices can interrupt the stress cycle to help bring your nervous system back into balance, especially right before you go on stage
- How to perform five simple yogic breath techniques (pranayama) that can build resilience and bring immediate relief
Yogic breathing techniques, or pranayama, offer nervous speakers a powerful and effective way to regain control of your nervous system, especially in moments of stress. Using these breath techniques, you can intentionally downshift your mind and body away from a stress response and into a calmer state. It’s that simple: you can change your breath to change your mind.
HOW TO PRACTICE AND APPLY THESE TECHNIQUES
In the days and weeks before your presentation, find 10-15 minutes a day to practice and experiment with one or two of the breath techniques you learned in this module, so that they become more natural and accessible to you.
As you sample these practices, you’ll observe, reflect, and discover which ones provide you with the best ability to “put on the brakes” when needed. Consider these five breath practices as an integral part of your speaking toolkit, and have them ready to reach for when needed.