You’ve been asked to speak at a meeting. This is a great thing. If you get nervous speaking in front of others, then you’re probably regretting that you said you’d do it. But, when asked to give back to others, we really can’t say no. Well, if it’s any consolation, a lot of people get nervous speaking at meetings. Another ray of hope is knowing that there are a few ways in which you can prepare. Here are 5 things you should do before speaking at a meeting.
It is said that prayer is the asking of or talking to your Higher Power. Before a meeting, take a moment for yourself to connect with your HP. Ask for assistance in being an open vessel through which to share the message of experience, strength, and hope.
If praying is talking to your Higher Power, then meditating is listening. You’ve prayed, now it’s time to be still, calm, and quiet so that you can receive whatever your Higher Power will reveal to you. Focus on your breath, inhaling and exhaling through either just your nose or just your mouth. Quiet your mind. You will feel calm and ready at this point.
#3. Remind yourself that it isn’t about you
One great way to get over the public speaking jitters is to remind yourself that speaking at a meeting really has nothing to do with you and everything to do with being in service. Trust that your Higher Power will speak through you and that you will find the words you need. Also trust that whatever you say will be perfect; tell yourself that, if something you say helps one person in that room, then it was all worth it and you fulfilled your purpose.
#4. Buy a bottle of water
This is more of a logical and functional suggestion but, you should make it a habit to buy or bring a bottle of water with you to the meeting. Public speaking or speaking in front of an audience tends to be a little nerve-wracking. One of the body’s physical responses results in dry mouth. It can be quite difficult speaking in front of others when you have cotton mouth and you’re unable to swallow. Also, sometimes people find it awkward to speak in front of others because they don’t know what to do with their hands. Having a bottle serves another purpose here. Having something to hold will allow you to stop focusing on your awkward hands and feel more casual and at ease.
In #2, we’ve already suggested meditating, which inherently involves focusing on your breath. In addition, taking a few grounding breaths before speaking at a meeting will really help you out. Be intentional with inhaling into your belly so that it expands and then exhaling in a slow and controlled fashion. Your inhales and exhales should last for the same length of time. When we get anxious or nervous, our heart tends to race a little and we tend to take very shallow breaths, sometimes, even hold our breath without realizing it. Grounding breaths will help you slow down your heart rate, deepen your breaths, and focus your mind.
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