It is familiar for someone to tell you before you walk on stage to “take a deep breath.” Whenever you get nervous before a presentation you are told to breathe, and for good reason! Simple breathing exercises can calm the body and help you relax before stepping on stage. Controlled breathing keeps you mind and body functioning at its best, enabling you to give a stellar presentation. Here are a few simple breathing exercises you can try before giving your next big presentation.
Stand at ease, and place your dominant hand on your stomach. Take 3-4 relaxed, medium deep breaths. Feel your stomach as it rises and lowers with each breath. Keep your shoulders relaxed while continuing this a few times.
Repeat this same exercise while lying flat on your back rather than standing.
Take a long, slow breath in through your nose, first filling your lower lungs, then your upper lungs. Hold your breath to the count of “three.” Exhale slowly, while you relax the muscles in your face, jaw, shoulders, and stomach.
Sit in a comfortable position. Take a long, deep breath and exhale slowly while saying the word “relax” silently. Close your eyes. Let yourself take ten natural, easy breaths. Count down with each exhale, starting with “ten.” When you reach “one” open your eyes.
Gently and slowly inhale a normal amount of air through your nose, filling only your lower lungs. Exhale easily. Continue this gentle breathing pattern with a relaxed attitude, concentrating on filling your lower lungs.
As you apply these breathing techniques to your presentation preparation, you will notice that you begin to feel calmer, relaxed, and more in control. You will be able to calm those pre-presentation jitters in order to deliver a dynamic presentation.