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Public Speaking Training: Great Exercises for Coping With Stress

Public Speaking Training:  Great Exercises for Coping With Stress


Here are some of my favorite “coping with stress” exercises.

For some people, anxiety is a problem whenever they do presentations.  Are you like many people and also feel stressed out during your daily work or academic life?   These exercises are good training in your daily life and for using before a presentation.

Taking an active relaxation break is simple.  Find a comfortable, quiet place to sit where you will not be disturbed.  Close your eyes and think of the word “relax.”  Think “re” as you inhale and “lax” as you exhale.  Be sure you are breathing deeply into the abdominal-diaphragmatic area.  It’s simple– inhale “re” and exhale “lax.”  Do this for at least a minute.  Let any thoughts gently float away.  Aim to increase this exercise to five minutes or more.  Doing it several times a day can break the stress cycle you experience in your life.

Visualization can be very effective in reducing anticipatory stress.  Anticipatory stress is what you feel before you do a presentation.  So, if you want to improve your presentations, whether impromptu with little warning, or formal presentations,  imagine yourself doing the best communication or presentation you have ever done.  Create the scene in your mind and let your body relax.  Take a deep breath and feel the sense of well-being in your body.  Visualization is very effective to reduce tension and improve your performance.

Another stress releaser is this:  Have objects on your desk that are pleasant to look at.  You can use one for a brief visualization exercise.  You might use a shell, for example.  Looking at the details of this shell for a few seconds and concentrating your thoughts on the shell will give you a break from your work or academic day.  If you brought the shell from the ocean, you can let your mind go back and feel the sun and the warm sand beneath your feet.  Hear the ocean and really return to the seaside for a few moments.  This short, mental vacation will relax your body and mind.

You can use any object – a flower, picture, something that has meaning to you.

Next time: Did you ever wonder why English has such a strange spelling system?

Be sure to watch our English Speech Tips videos and Accent Reduction Tip videos  for more English pronunciation and accent reduction exercise.

Rerun from 12/25/2013 and 02/01/2017

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